Understanding life complexity through trans-disciplinary research
Systems biology represents a move from a reductionist approach to an integrative research strategy designed to tackle the complexity of biological systems and their behaviour at all levels of organization – from molecules, cells, tissues and organs to organisms in their changing environment. It seeks to understand how the individual components of a biological system interact in time and space to determine its functioning in normal and perturbed conditions. The knowledge obtained through systems approaches thus focuses primarily on function rather than on structure.
Mixing expertise under one roof
Systems biology allows integration of a large amount of global genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome data, collected with high-throughput measurement platforms, and of other relevant quantitative biological, environmental and medical data. The aim is to build and inform predictive multi-scale models ranging from the molecular to the organ and organism levels.
Success relies on integrated and standardized experimental and software platforms for data collection and analysis, visualization, simulation, hypothesis generation and testing, as well as on the integration of a wide range of expertise from various disciplines: physics, chemistry, mathematics, informatics, engineering, epistemology, history of sciences, law, ethics.
with the active participation of patients;
able to develop appropriate preventive measures and drugs for individuals, based on their health and wellness states and trajectories;
able to tailor treatments to individuals;
able to determine the probability of an individual contracting certain diseases by examining his or her biological make-up.