On 22 to 23 October, BCSSS Vice President and Health Care Research Group leader Felix Tretter invited to a second round of his expert workshop on the issue of Systems Medicine. In the previous meeting in April 2019, the group discussed the basics of an “Organismal Systems Medicine” (OSM) as a contrast to Molecular Systems Medicine (MSM). The first meeting featured examples such as from endocrinology and the issues of diabetes; the second workshop focused on comorbidities, in particular between diabetes and depression.

Peter Fasching (Wilhelminen Hospital Vienna) opened the meeting with a presentation on clinical aspects on diabetes, followed by Henriette Löffler-Stastka’s (Psychatric Clinic of the Medical University Vienna – PC-MED) lecture on clinical aspects of depression.  Alexander Kautzky (PC-MED) then combined the two issues with the main theme of comorbidity of the two. Wolfram Weckwerth (University of Vienna) contributed a biochemist perspective, and Gerhard Gründer (Central Institute for Mental Health, Germany) shared his expertise on pharmacopsychiatry and depression.

The second part of the expert workshop then turned towards systems analysis and modeling: BCSSS member Johannes Dietrich (Bergmannsheil Hospital, Germany) presented insights into cybernetic modeling of endocrine loop systems, BCSSS Program Manager Angelika Schanda introduced the group to aspects of system dynamics modeling.

Based on their discussion, the group agreed to formulate a position paper, arguing for a more organismic view on the human body and medicine.