Recently, the Biological Sciences have experienced an information explosion. Primarily this has occurred at the molecular level, especially with the completion of the human genome project. However, due to the complexity of gene expression patterns, and the multitude of systems involved, translating genotype into phenotype is difficult. An alternative approach to predicting how a biological entity looks, functions and behaves is to use mathematical modelling.

In collaboration with Dr Andrew Lonie at the University of Melbourne, the kidney modelling group at the Bioengineering Institute are working on the Kidney Simulation Project. The aim of this project is to take molecular, structural and physiological data, at the molecular, cell, tissue and organ levels, and combine it with advanced modelling techniques, to produce a multi-level, structurally and functionally integrated, quantitative, computer based model of the mammalian kidney.

This Kidney Simulation Project is one of two complementary kidney research groups that are currently part of the integrative physiology modelling initiative called The Physiome Project. The other project is the Kidneyome Project, which is being led by S. Randall Thomas from Rene University in Paris. Their models of the kidney medulla in particular focus on the possible role of the inner meduallry metabolic osmole production in the urine concetrating mechanism.