This course will introduce the student to contemporary Systems Biology focused on mammalian cells, their constituents and their functions. Biology is moving from molecular to modular. As our knowledge of our genome and gene expression deepens and we develop lists of molecules (proteins, lipids, ions) involved in cellular processes, we need to understand how these molecules interact with each other to form modules that act as discrete functional systems. These systems underlie core subcellular processes such as signal transduction, transcription, motility and electrical excitability. In turn these processes come together to exhibit cellular behaviors such as secretion, proliferation and action potentials. What are the properties of such subcellular and cellular systems? What are the mechanisms by which emergent behaviors of systems arise? What types of experiments inform systems-level thinking? Why do we need computation and simulations to understand these systems?
The course will develop multiple lines of reasoning to answer the questions listed above. Two major reasoning threads are: the design, execution and interpretation of multivariable experiments that produce large data sets; quantitative reasoning, models and simulations. Examples will be discussed to demonstrate “how” cell- level functions arise and “why” mechanistic knowledge allows us to predict cellular behaviors leading to disease states and drug responses.
Systems Level Reasoning | Molecules to Pathways Module description goes here.
Pathways to Networks | Physical Forces and Electrical Activity in Cell Biology Module description goes here.
Mathematical Representations of Cell Biological Systems | Simulations of Cell Biological Systems Module description goes here.
Experimental Technologies | Network Building and Analysis Module description goes here.
Midterm Module description goes here.
Analysis of Networks | Topology to Function Module description goes here.
Strengths and Limitations of Different Types of Models | Identifying Emergent Properties Module description goes here.
Emergent Properties: Ultrasensitivity and Robustness | Case Studies Module description goes here.
Case Studies | Systems Biomedicine | Systems Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Perspective Module description goes here.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
I realized this was a difficult course when I found that I needed to know the difference between an ordinary differential equation and a partial differential equation. In order to succeed, you will need to read quite a few journal articles.
Excellent and thorough but quite demanding. It is definitely an advantage to have studied biochemistry and molecular biology beforehand. As for the mathematics, first-year university calculus should be fine.