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Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 10:00 p.m.

Launch of the Virtual Brain Twin project

Launch of the Virtual Brain Twin project Image: Viktor Jirsa, INS Aix-Marseille University

The URJC is part of this European consortium, which will address the mental health crisis by creating virtual brain twins. The objective will be to develop personalized treatments for psychiatric disorders.

Writing / Irene Vega

In the European Union (EU), mental disorders are a growing concern and the need for effective treatments has never been more critical. Schizophrenia, a disease that affects 1% of the world's population, shows the limitations of current therapeutic options, with 30-50% of patients experiencing inadequate responses to existing antipsychotics.

The project "Virtual Brain Twin for Personalized Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders” (Virtual Brain Twins for Personalized Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders), initiated on January 1, 2024 and coordinated by EBRAINS AISBL, introduces an innovative approach to psychiatric care. Its goal is to generate virtual brain twins for psychiatric patients, through an ecosystem that uses neural microcircuit simulation, mathematical analysis, innovative artificial intelligence tools, and knowledge from psychiatric care and clinical studies.

This project is funded by the European Commission, within the framework of the Horizon Health Europe Calls 2023 initiative with a grant of 10 million euros, and will last four years, placing it at the forefront of personalized medicine in psychiatry.

The objective of the platform Virtual Brain Twin is to guide doctors in optimizing the type and dosage of medication, as well as exploring alternative treatments such as brain stimulation and lifestyle changes. Leveraging big data, multiscale modeling and high-performance computing, all protected to ensure data security, this platform aims to fill the knowledge gap between molecules and the patient's brain. At the URJC, the Visualization & Graphics Lab (VG-LAB), coordinated by Professor Óscar David Robles, is responsible for the design, creation and development of a unified framework for the visual exploration of data at different scales.

The project has the scientific direction of Professor Viktor Jirsa, director of the Inserm Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes of the Aix-Marseille-Université (France) and scientific director of EBRAINS AISBL, and will focus on psychosis in patients with schizophrenia. "The project Virtual Brain Twin not only aims to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from these pathologies, but also to lead the development of personalized treatments," highlights Jirsa.

Guided by ethical requirements and integrated into the European digital infrastructure for neuroscientific research EBRAINS, the platform Virtual Brain Twin It is intended to be initially accessible to neuroscientists, clinical researchers, and mathematical modelers. In the future, it is intended to expand its access to doctors and patients with the aim of achieving better patient outcomes.


The EBRAINS research infrastructure, key result and legacy of the Human Brain Project (HBP), funded by the EU, was officially launched in 2019. Two years later, in 2021, EBRAINS was included in the roadmap of the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). In this next phase, after the recent conclusion of the HBP, EBRAINS will complete the transition towards a sustainable infrastructure.

EBRAINS is an open research infrastructure that brings together high-quality research data, tools and computing facilities for brain-related research, built with interoperability at its core. The infrastructure offers researchers a wide range of brain data sets, a multi-level brain atlas, modeling and simulation tools, access to high-performance computing resources, as well as robotic and neuromorphic platforms. can be explored here the tools and services available.

EBRAINS AISBL is an international non-profit association, based in Brussels (Belgium). It is organized around a central core that coordinates a pan-European network of services provided through 11 national nodes: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.