Systems biology is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on complex interactions in biological systems in order to improve the design of molecular and cell-based technologies. Instead of studying one biological component at a time, scientists use systems biology approaches to obtain, integrate and analyze complex data from multiple experimental sources to understand how molecules act together within the network of interaction that makes up life.
IBB investigators are using engineering approaches to develop a quantitative understanding of cell function and to apply this understanding for improved technologies to study biological systems such as the immune system or the nervous system. In addition, scientists and engineers use mathematics and computation to reliably model, predict, manipulate and optimize biomedical systems for the advancement of medicine, drug development, and biotechnologies.
Researchers are focusing on understanding the complexity of gene and protein networks involved in individual cell signaling, communication between cells in communities, and cellular metabolic pathways. In order to study biological systems, tools are required for collecting information across a larger scale than traditional biological or biochemical methods. The technology platforms under development for high-throughput data collection and analysis at IBB focus on genomics, epigenetics, proteomics, and metabolomics.