Systems biology is a holistic rather than reductionist approach to deciphering complexity and understanding biology. It enables both hypothesis generation and prediction in biology, based on a comprehensive understanding of the interplay among components in biological systems. Biology is the driving force of systems approaches-dictating what technologies must be developed and in turn what computational and mathematical tools must be pioneered. It requires a cross-disciplinary foundation (biologists, chemists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists and physicians) where we learn to speak each other's languages and to work together in teams. The Center addresses challenges of systems biology that take many forms, including scientific, conceptual, technological, educational and cultural. We will seek to develop: (i) a culture of collaboration that drives systems biology and the integration of scientists and disciplines;(ii) an integrated network view of biology that drives quantitative and predictive systems biology;(iii) an integration of established and new core technologies and software for biological systems research;(iv) educational programs that serve the future of systems biology research. In order to support this development, we form collaborations and transfer knowledge to the community, beginning with K-12 science education, and continuing through to professional development courses.
Disease results when normally functioning molecular networks of life become perturbed. This systems biology view presents striking new approaches to diagnostics, therapeutics and disease prevention that will ultimately lead to predictive, preventive personalized and participatory (P4) medicine. The Center's goal is to investigate these themes and to contribute to the education of the community.
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