The Biomedical Simulations Resource (BMSR) at the University of Southern California is dedicated to the advancement of the state-of-the-art in biomedical system modeling and simulation through Technological Research and Development (Core) projects, as well as the application and dissemination of this knowledge through Collaborative Research, Service, Training and Dissemination activities aimed at the biomedical community at large.
The Service, Training and Dissemination activities include: 1) distribution and support of special-purpose modeling/simulation software; 2) offering advanced short-courses on modeling methodologies and related software; 3) organization of research workshops and symposia; and 4) publication of research volumes and dissemination via the BMSR web site, in addition to publications in the open literature.
The BMSR was established in 1985 under the founding vision that a quantitative understanding of the biological processes that underlie the mechanisms of human health and disease can be significantly advanced by the development and application of new methods for systems modeling, tailored to the challenges confronted by the experimental approaches of particular biomedical domains. This vision has guided our development of strategies for the dual objective of expanding our scientific/technological expertise in biomedical systems modeling and for effectively disseminating these methods to the broader biomedical research community. The first objective called for a new thrust of state-of-the-art research in biomedical systems modeling methodologies, and the second for service, training and dissemination programs to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology (the “know why” as well as the “know how”) to other researchers. The BMSR activities have been designed to serve these objectives.
The methodologies developed by the four BMSR Core Research projects are first applied, evaluated and refined through essential collaborations with basic and clinical research scientists – our Collaborative Research projects. Since the inception of the BMSR, we have sponsored 78 distinct Collaborative Research projects, representing 83 different institutions and a total of 95 investigators. Of these projects, 39 have involved institutions outside of California.
The developed BMSR expertise and software capability are continuously transferred to the biomedical research community through our Service efforts aimed at distributing and providing user support for our specialized software, which enables the application of our advanced systems modeling and simulation methodologies. Since our first software became available, we have distributed 9,564 software packages (up to October 2012). We have also identified 1,452 published journal articles since 1989 that have cited the use of BMSR software in enabling their research contributions.
The BMSR recognized from the outset that the full impact of its systems modeling methodologies could not be fully realized without providing other researchers with opportunities to learn how and why to use our methods and software. Consequently, the BMSR put in place an ongoing mechanism for Training in the use of both our methods and software – the BMSR Short Courses. Since its inception, the BMSR has sponsored 36 Short Courses on the use of our specialized software, which have trained over 1,250 participants.
To further disseminate modeling advances and applications in biomedicine, including those developed by other researchers, the BMSR has organized and sponsored numerous BMSR scientific Workshops starting in 1987. More recently, we have also co-sponsored symposia and joint meetings with other professional societies further amplifying our dissemination efforts. Until now (October 2012), the BMSR has sponsored a total of 28 different Workshops, which have attracted over 3,250 researchers from the US and the rest of the world.