Team VIRTUOUS: InSyBio pioneering precision nutrition through European funded project

Posted on September 20, 2019

In conjunction with a prestigious team of researchers and industry, InSyBio has been awarded funding under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) for precision nutrition. Benefiting industry and academia worldwide, the team will work to design an intelligent “virtual tongue” (VIRTUOUS) capable of taste prediction. Through the integration of drug discovery techniques, machine learning classifiers, algorithms for big data, cloud computing, and experimental data, a far greater understanding of the mechanisms behind taste profiles and the resulting sensation will be enabled.

Over the next 4 years, InSyBio will work dynamically with the other entities through the integration and tailoring of some of its already efficient bioinformatics tools, particularly InSyBio Interact, a tool able to predict a confidence score for protein pairs, extract mechanistic information and visualize both protein complexes and overall networks. The InSyBio BioNets tool will also be utilized by the VIRTUOUS team to provide a set of capabilities for the construction, preprocessing, meta-analysis, and visualization of biological networks.


Dr. Marco Agostino Deriu, coordinator of the project stated: "The VIRTUOUS Project challenges the dream of building an intelligent machine able to decrypt a sensation by modelling the biophysical architecture of our body. Taste is a complex emergent property based on molecular interactions between taste cell receptors and chemicals contained in food. This information is elaborated by our body by a complex multiscale and multiphysics network of proteins and cells which results in a signal, instantaneously elaborated by our brain, as a piano chord. The VIRTUOUS Consortium as a whole covers all required competences for this ambitious challenge, starting from molecular and multiscale modelling techniques, to artificial intelligence algorithms; experimental facilities to analyze natural product typical of the Mediterranean diet such as wine and oil. In this context, the excellent InSyBio expertise and technologies are a crucial element of this harmonized VIRTUOUS crew. Their expertise in bioinformatics and in mapping protein-protein and cell-cell networks will provide the necessary link between molecular level and tissue level phenomena."

Labros Digonis, CEO of InSyBio, commented saying: "This sophisticated collaboration not only furthers our scientific understanding of food but also carries major market implications for nutrition, agriculture and beyond. These linked industries are required to constantly stay ahead of the curve and meet the needs of a growing population and InSyBio is aiding this effort through intelligent innovation and pioneering analysis tools."

About RISE: RISE promotes international and cross-sector collaboration through exchanging research and innovation staff as well as sharing knowledge and ideas between research to market (and vice-versa). In the context of this project, the joint exchange program will involve 9 participants from 4 countries: Italy, Greece, Spain and Switzerland. Participants are both from academic (4 beneficiaries) and non-academic (5 beneficiaries) sectors. The balance between academy and industry and the interdisciplinary nature of the Consortium will grant a uniquely stimulating environment for all researchers involved in the project and the knowledge share will act as a spring-board for continued collaboration.

About InSyBio: InSyBio is an international pioneer bioinformatics revolutionizing the medical field, clinical trials and food/nutrition industries through targeted biomarker discovery and highly-accurate predictive analytics.

Its solutions provide the R&D departments of Pharma, Research Institutes and Food/Nutrition companies, with the means both analytically and computationally to meet their challenging research and innovation goals (such as robust biomarker discovery and accurate predictive models). This is done through a sophisticated, software-as-a-service, machine learning platform which comprehensively integrates multi-omics data reducing the number of samples and additional validation experiments needed. Since 2013, InSyBio has worked with hundreds of academics, large and small companies, hospitals and research centers allowing them to succeed in their biomarker discovery tasks with an increase of at least 10% in predictive accuracy and decrease of at least 80% in overall time and cost.

Visit to see how InSyBio can help you reach your R&D goals in the era of Precision Medicine and Nutrition.

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