The developers of the Virtual Family were awarded the 2014 Physics in Medicine & Biology Citations Prize, the Rotblat Medal, for the paper “The Virtual Family–Development of surface-based anatomical models of two adults and two children for dosimetric simulations” by Andreas Christ, Wolfgang Kainz, Eckhart G. Hahn, Katharina Honegger, Marcel Zefferer, Esra Neufeld, Wolfgang Rascher, Rolf Janka, Werner Bautz, Ji Chen, Berthold Kiefer, Peter Schmitt, Hans-Peter Hollenbach, Jianxiang Shen, Michael Oberle, Dominik Szczerba, Anthony Kam, Joshua W Guag, and Niels Kuster (Phys Med Biol. 55: N23–38; 2010; doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/2/N01). Physics in Medicine & Biology awards the Rotblat Medal each year to acknowledge the research paper or note that has accrued the most citations, according to data from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), in the preceding five years. The award, the paper, and the IT’IS Foundation’s ongoing contribution to computational life sciences were highlighted in a recent column at medicalphysicsweb.
The medicalphysicsweb site is a free online newsfeed maintained by IOP Publishing Limited that covers the latest, most interesting, and timely research in the fields of physical biology and medicine. The news item, authored by Tami Freeman, detailed the development of the Virtual Family, and featured quotes from Dr. Andreas Christ, the lead author of the paper, who described the state of the field before the introduction of the Virtual Family and stressed the importance of having computational models with age-sex-specific height and body-mass-index averages that correspond to global reference values. The expansion of the Virtual Family to the set of now 15 whole-body human models that comprise the Virtual Population was also cited.