Definition of Systems Biology

"Understanding biomedical systems by data-based mathematical modelling of their dynamical behavior. For the purposes of this study the objective of systems biology has been defined as the understanding of network behavior, and in particular their dynamic aspects, which requires the utilization of mathematical modeling tightly linked to experiment."


Prof. Jens Timmer
Stellvertretender Direktor des ZBSA


           Caenorahabtitis elegns, Courtesy: National Human Genome Research Institute


"Systems Biology aims at an improved understanding of biology and its mechanisms, in particular of the functions and interactions of key elements of living systems (DNA, RNA, proteins, cells). Systems biology is the sum of novel methodological approaches to (a) gather and analyse this knowledge, (b) to translate this knowledge into a thorough understanding that eventually will allow predicting the behavior of the complex and dynamic networks that regulate living specimen. The focus of systems biology is clearly not limited to the description of existing knowledge using a different syntax, but aims at combining available methods synergistically to develop novel approaches for the characterization of the behavior of biological networks. Whereas traditional research in the Life Sciences generally emphasizes the operational necessity of a gene, protein, component for the correct execution of a particular pathway or regulatory mechanism (what is it doing, is it necessary or sufficient?), it is the Systems Biology that expands these questions in an attempt to define the relevance of a particular component or mechanism for fulfilling a biological goal (Why is it performing the way it is to accomplish this or that task? How does the component need to be designed in order to fulfill its function)."


Prof. Ralf Baumeister
Direktor des ZBSA (2005 - 2010)
Mitglied des Direktoriums






"Studying the interactions and interplay of many levels of biological information, systems biology will enable us not only to cure complex diseases but also to predict an individual's health and extend the human body's natural lifespan by preventing diseases. The new era of predictive, preventive and personalized medicine - made possible by systems biology - prepresents a profound shift in the practice of medicine and will reach into many corners of our lives."

Leroy Hood, Ph.D. M.D.
President Institute for System Biology, Seattle






Center for Biological Systems Analysis

University of Freiburg


  • Address:

    Habsburgerstr. 49
    79104 Freiburg
  • Delivery entrance:

    Hauptstr. 1
    79104 Freiburg


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