Computational & Systems Biology

Computational structural model of an olfactory receptor structure for the odorant eugenol.

The advent of quantitative high-throughput methods in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and imaging has led to a growing need for automated analysis of large volumes of data. As a growing number of molecular cell components continue to be characterized, increasing numbers of scientists are beginning to analyze how much of the behavior of biological systems is determined by the complex dynamic interactions between these molecular components. Such developments are paralleled by an increasing demand on mathematical models and computational approaches.

The research groups involved in Computational & Systems Biology are addressing a wide range of subjects including the computer simulation of the dynamical behavior of proteins at the molecular level, methods for the inference of structure and function of proteins, to the analysis of gene regulatory networks and genome evolution. Many of these projects are undertaken in collaboration with other research groups at the Biozentrum and often also with large international consortia.

Some of the groups have access to a wet laboratory in which experiments are carried out. All group leaders from Computational & Systems Biology are also involved as research group leaders at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) and support, in collaboration with the SIB, a competitive IT infrastructure that incorporates application-, database-, and web servers, large scale storage and backup facilities.