New appointments for INSIGNEO team

As part of the strategic investments for the new Insigneo research institute, established as a collaboration Virtual Physiological Humanbetween the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS foundation Trust, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health started a search in November 2013 for two Senior Clinical Research Fellowships to pursue the clinical translation of in silico medicine.

A groundbreaking University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust initiative that will eventually see diseases treated using virtual models of the human body has appointed two leading scientists to its team.

Dr Andrew Swift, a radiologist who has specialised in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Dr Alisdair McNeill, a clinical geneticist, have joined the INSIGNEO team (Institute for in silico Medicine). INSIGNEO is making groundbreaking developments to enable sophisticated computing technology in healthcare to be used directly in clinical practice to improve diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Dr Andrew Swift will develop a clinical research programme in cardio-pulmonary conditions, such as pulmonary hypertension, where the combination of medical imaging and computer simulation could drastically improve diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. “Andrew will drive the clinical translation of a number of in silico technologies that we hope can dramatically improve our ability to treat and cure complex cardiovascular and respiratory conditions” commented Sheila Francis, Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Science within which Dr Swift will develop his research group.

Dr Alisdair McNeill  will develop a clinical research program around neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease where he plans to combine genomic biomarkers and neuromotor biomechanics through computer simulation, in order to improve our ability to understand and treat this family of diseases. “Alisdair represents a new generation of clinical researchers who will lead the translational development of genomics research into clinical practice; we are excited about Alisdair’s proposals to integrate this information with a detailed disease phenotypes exploiting the INSIGNEO expertise incomputer simulation. This innovative approach has huge potential to drive the agenda of stratified and personalised medicine” observed Paul Ince, Head of the Department of Neuroscience, where Dr McNeil will develop his research program.

“Dr Swift will reinforce Insigneo’s clinical research in the area of cardio-pulmonary radiology; we hope he will provide an essential drive to the success of a new initiative in imaging & modelling that we will announce in the next few weeks. Dr McNeil will explore the territory between genotype and disease phenotype in a strategic area for our institute, neurology. We are very excited by these new appointments, Insigneo today is much stronger” noted Marco Viceconti, Scientific Director of the Insigneo institute.