Center for Life Ethics
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D-53113 Bonn


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Launch of Virtual Brain Twin Project

Launch of Virtual Brain Twin Project

Research team develops a virtual brain twin for better treatment of psychosis

In the EU, mental disorders are a growing concern. The need for effective treatments has never been more critical. The European Commission is now funding the Virtual Brain Twin project with around 10 million Euros over the next four years as part of the Horizon Health Europe Calls 2023 initiative. The Center for Life Ethics at the University of Bonn is addressing ethical issues in this project. The kick-off meeting took place in Brussels on April 25 and 26, 2024.


The “Virtual Brain Twin for Personalised Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders” project, initiated on 1 January 2024 and coordinated by EBRAINS AISBL, introduces a revolutionary approach to psychiatric care. Its endeavour is to generate virtual brain twins for psychiatric patients.


The Virtual Brain Twin platform aims to guide clinicians in optimising medication type and dosage, and exploring alternative treatments like brain stimulation and lifestyle changes. Embedded within the European digital neuroscience research infrastructure, EBRAINS, the Virtual Brain Twin platform will initially be accessible to neuroscientists, clinical researchers, and mathematical modellers. In the future, it will expand to clinicians and patients, leading to better patient outcomes.


“Virtual brain twins to improve the treatment of schizophrenic patients raise many intriguing ethical questions,” says Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen from the Center for Life Ethics, who is also a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Areas “Individuals & Societies” and “Sustainable Futures” at the University of Bonn. They range from the specific handling of different individual data to the fundamental question of what we understand by mental illness and how technological developments can change our idea of humanity. “We are very much looking forward to working with this fantastic, diverse consortium.”


Read the press release from EBRAINS and the University of Bonn here. Further information about EBRAINS can be found here.


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Center for Life Ethics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 7

53113 Bonn