Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield at the Hay FestivalVirtual You

Virtual You is a panoramic account of efforts by scientists around the world to build digital twins of human beings, from cells and tissues to organs and whole bodies. These virtual copies will usher in a new era of personalized medicine, one in which your digital twin can help predict your risk of disease, participate in virtual drug trials, shed light on the diet and lifestyle changes that are best for you, and help identify therapies to enhance your well-being and extend your lifespan—but thorny challenges remain.

In this deeply illuminating book, Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield reveal what it will take to build a virtual, functional copy of a person in five steps. Along the way, they take you on a fantastic voyage through the complexity of the human body, describing the latest scientific and technological advances—from multiscale modeling to extraordinary new forms of computing—that will make “virtual you” a reality, while also considering the ethical questions inherent to realizing truly predictive medicine.

With an incisive foreword by Nobel Prize–winning biologist Venki Ramakrishnan, Virtual You is science at its most astounding, showing how our virtual twins and even whole populations of virtual humans promise to transform our health and our lives in the coming decades.


Peter Coveney is director of the Centre for Computational Science at University College London, professor at the Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam, and adjunct professor at the Yale School of Medicine. 

Roger Highfield is science director at the Science Museum Group, a member of the Medical Research Council, and visiting professor at University College London and the Dunn School, University of Oxford.

They are the authors of Frontiers of Complexity and The Arrow of Time.