Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who coordinates the MSM?

The MSM is coordinated by the Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG) and the MSM Steering Committee.  The MSM Steering Committee is comprised of MSM grantees that serve 2-year terms on a rotating basis.  The MSM Steering Committee oversees the Task Forces of the MSM Consortium.

What is the MSM Mission?

  • To grow the field of multiscale modeling in biomedical, biological and behavioral systems
  • To promote multidisciplinary scientific collaboration among multiscale modelers
  • To encourage future generations of multiscale modelers
  • To move the field of biological computational modeling forward in the following disciplines
    • predictive models of biology, health and disease
    • bioenergy and bioremediation
    • biomimetics
  • To develop accurate methods and algorithms to cross the interface between multiple spatiotemporal scales
  • To promote model sharing and the development of reusable multiscale models
  • To disseminate the models and insights arrived from the models to the larger biomedical, biological, and behavioral research community


What is the MSM Consortium?

  1. The MSM Consortium is a group of researchers interested in the activities that promote the MSM Mission.
  2. The MSM is comprised of PI’s and key investigators involved in research projects focused on or related to multiscale modeling of biomedical, biological and behavioral systems. (IMAG is comprised of government program officers running or representing the programs supporting these projects)
  3. The MSM activities are determined by the participants of the MSM and conducted for the benefit of the participants. (IMAG participants are around to facilitate activities if needed.)
  4. Those who are not leading research projects relevant to the MSM, but are interested in receiving periodic announcements from IMAG and the MSM may join the IMAG Friends list.  


What exactly is Multiscale Modeling?

Current IMAG definition:  Multiscale, biomedical modeling uses mathematics and computation to represent and simulate a physiological system at more than one biological scale. Biological scales include atomic, molecular, molecular complexes, sub-cellular, cellular, multi-cell systems, tissue, organ, multi-organ systems, organism, population, and behavior. These multiscale biomedical models may also include dynamical processes which span multiple time and length scales.


Why should I join the MSM Consortium?

The Consortium will provide various opportunities to:

  • present and share your multicale modeling related project with other MSM investigators - network!
  • easily converse with program officers from nine government agencies
  • participate in focused Working Group discussions on the wiki
  • participate in virtual scientific presentations by all Working Groups throughout the year
  • participate in annual meetings of the MSM Consortium
  • learn about the latest modeling and MSM related activities from around the world
  • access various resources for modeling


What are the Working Groups?

  • The Working Group (WG) structure was created by the original set of MSM grantees (in 2006) as a means to discuss important and focused issues concerning multiscale modeling. The WG’s undergo an evolution after each annual MSM meeting (change in focus, change in WG co-leads).
  • WG co-leads from funded IMAG MSM U01 projects are expected to lead a WG for at least two years during their award.  They are encouraged to introduce new activities that can be addressed with MSM Consortium and/or WG community input.


What do I need to know to be a WG Lead?

  • WG co-leads are welcome to bring in MSM and non-MSM participants to a WG. MSM participants are listed on the wiki and are on the MSM listserv Non-MSM participants can added to each WG's own email list and will be dependent on WG co-leads to be informed of general MSM activities.
  • Since non-MSM participants come to the WGs through WG co-leads, they are not given IMAG wiki logins. If WG co-leads feel a participant of your WG would benefit from having their own wiki login (e.g. constantly emailing you with things to post), please inform
  • Participants in the WG will help decide on the WG title, goals, and objectives (e.g. Present two MSM webinars, write white papers, plan and host workshops, put out publications) for this year. Please let us know when this is complete.
  • The activities of the WG should not be someone’s personal agenda, but a group effort.
  • Each WG will post on the WG wiki page the current state of the science in the specified topic, and its challenges and opportunities.
  • All WG leads will be involved with the MSM Steering Committe in planning for the following year’s MSM Consortium meeting.


What is the history of the MSM Consortium?

A history of the MSM Consortium is described on the MSM website



Grace Peng, Ph.D.
Program Director, IMAG Chair
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering Telephone: 301-451-4778

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