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Systems Biology

 

What is systems biology?


Systems biology is a rapidly emerging area of research activity at the interface of mathematics, engineering, and the biological sciences. It is becoming increasingly clear that research and teaching in biology requires the mastery of advanced quantitative skills. Rapid advances in our understanding of biological phenomena at the molecular level have clarified how much more we need to understand about complex networks of interconnected, nonlinear elements that characterize biological systems at multiple levels. The biochemical networks that control cell metabolism, the neural networks that control behavior, the hierarchical network of multiple levels of cells, tissues, and organs of an organism, and the networks of interactions between species in an ecosystem all share this general character. New quantitative methods are needed to find statistically significant patterns in biological data, to search larger databases of molecules for homology, to create and simulate complex models of biological systems, and to analyze and understand the dynamics of biological patterns that extend over space and time. The systems biology degree program is intended to provide the quantitative skills and multidisciplinary understanding necessary for work in this area.

We are excited to be one of the first universities to have an undergraduate degree program in systems biology.