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8.   About

Creator/s

Steven Vercruysse created most of this site’s text, all its figures, and embedded software.
He is Researcher (PhD in Computational Biotechnology, MSc in Computer Science, MSc in Physics)
at the DrugLogics group, in a featured project (see PhdComics-TV) of NTNU University,
in Trondheim, the technology capital of Norway, your next holiday destination.1 Come visit us if you like VSM! – Or invite us to your own city.


In addition, Martin Kuiper (Professor in Systems Biology), contributed with feedback and edits to an earlier, shorter and more formal version of text, which parts of this site are based on. He also took the role of afternoon sounding board during the evolution of ideas that formed VSM.
Martin Kuiper, and then also Astrid Lægreid, created a friendly, interdisciplinary research environment, that led wet-lab biologists and computer specialists to sit together and identify problems that could be addressed with combined expertise.

We are also indebted to Florian Leitner, Erick Antezana, and Rune Sætre for their feedback on and critical reading of the earlier, very different versions of the shorter, much more formal text. – We also thank Heri Ramampiaro, Arne Jenssen, Sophia Efstathiou, Maria K Andersen and others for comments throughout the conception of the ideas and on earlier versions of that text. – We thank scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and members of the International Society for Biocuration (ISB) for discussions and suggestions.2 Looking back to the beginning, I realize that at first we only had a rudimentary idea of how to explain VSM.
Florian’s, Erick’s and many dozens and dozens of others’ input helped us improve many ways in which our earlier explanations were quite unclear. And they helped us offset VSM much better against existing technology.
Thank you all for bearing through that!

Funding Information

First, the conception of the initial idea was supported by Funksjonell Genomforskning (FUGE) of Midt-Norge and NTNU.  –  Next, it was then further developed and implemented solely by private, otherwise unfunded efforts by Steven Vercruysse.3 Yes… in today’s scientific funding system, you’re a temp forever. – And some years nothing at all, if you dare to be passionate about your brainchild.
And this situation is, quite, a common, problem. It’s also a strong push to move outside academia, to be less worried about one’s future.
Perhaps I should do that after sharing this project here! Unless we’re able to draw attention to VSM, to help us convince risk‑averse project reviewers…, or try our luck in industry.
  –  And recently the further application of this prototype is funded through ‘Crossover Research 2.0: Well-constructed Knowledge Commons’ of The Research Council of Norway (NFR).

How we got here

The foundation of VSM‘s design was laid starting in 2008. By then it had become obvious, from many interactions with biologists, that new methods for concerting their knowledge into some database format were dearly needed. After we created VSM‘s foundations, and despite many attempts to raise funding for implementing VSM, we were unable to convince funding agencies of the importance of making research findings computable!

We therefore implemented a proof-of-concept VSM UI without funding. We embedded it in a web application (SciCura v1) and curators in our group were happy to test and use it. This gave us a clearer insight into the nature of VSM, how to use it, and how to explain it to third parties while avoiding common misunderstandings. This process was crucial for the text on this site.

The development of VSM is a demonstration of the difficulty encountered by young scientists to mature their groundbreaking ideas into transformative implementations, and calls for new modalities of project support by funding agencies.

We’re people too

If you really enjoyed this site, it would be nice to hear a friendly, simple ‘Hi!’ from you.  Just to keep our spirits high and to know if we’re making an impact.




This site was prepublished in draft form in Oct 2017,
and last updated in Jul 2018,
before official publication.





    Blue notes list:

  1. 1 Come visit us if you like VSM! – Or invite us to your own city.
  2. 2 Looking back to the beginning, I realize that at first we only had a rudimentary idea of how to explain VSM.
    Florian’s, Erick’s and many dozens and dozens of others’ input helped us improve many ways in which our earlier explanations were quite unclear. And they helped us offset VSM much better against existing technology.
    Thank you all for bearing through that!
  3. 3 Yes… in today’s scientific funding system, you’re a temp forever. – And some years nothing at all, if you dare to be passionate about your brainchild.
    And this situation is, quite, a common, problem. It’s also a strong push to move outside academia, to be less worried about one’s future.
    Perhaps I should do that after sharing this project here! Unless we’re able to draw attention to VSM, to help us convince risk‑averse project reviewers…, or try our luck in industry.