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One of the defining features of living organisms is their astonishing complexity. Even seemingly simple single cell organisms such as microbes display exceedingly complex behaviors, determined by intricate molecular networks in which large numbers of molecular components, pathways and chemical reactions act together. These behaviors have fascinated scientists for decades and include development, response to pathogenic and environmental insults and interactions with other organisms. Understanding how complexity of living systems arises and coordinates cellular function and pathologies continues to be one of the principal goals of biomedical research today.

The Department of Systems Biology (DSB) studies how biological complexity can be derived and understood from the interplay between individual components and processes that combine to make up living organisms.

The department brings together an enthusiastic and highly collaborative group of scientists that employ an array of experimental and computational approaches to study a variety of biological systems. Research in the program ranges from quantitative studies of properties of single cells to analyses of complex phenotypes of animals, and leverages the latest technological developments in the areas of molecular biology, genomics, high-content imaging, quantitative modeling, computer science and bioinformatics. The commonality of all research in the program is the integration of high-throughput experimentation and quantitative data analyses to study how biological systems behave, respond, adapt and evolve. Disease states are increasingly considered to be caused not by a singular biochemical alteration, but instead are viewed as the result of wider disruptions of the complex interplay between the many molecular components and processes that make up the human body. Researchers in the program aim to unravel how systems go awry in a variety of pathologies and how systems can be perturbed to mitigate disease.

Latest News


The Department in Systems Biology Welcomes our Newest Rotation Students

November, 2021

Ben Clayton - Joins the Lee Lab for Rotation

Carmen Li and Gavin Birdsall- Joins the Mitchell Lab for Rotation

Amina Bradley - Joins the Shank Lab for Rotation

Valeria Sanabria Joins the Youk Lab for Rotation


The Department of Systems Biology Welcomes New Post Doc, Courtney Price, PhD, to the Shank Lab!

October, 2021

Congratulations to Michael Lee on receiving a 5 year NIH Grant with Pennsylvania State and UMass Amherst: 

"Personalization and Failure Testing of Dual Switch Gene Drives in Lung Cancer"

October, 2021

The Department in Systems Biology Welcomes our Newest Rotation Students

September, 2021

Gavin Birdsall - Joins the Lee Lab for Rotation

Vista Sohrab - Joins the Mitchell Lab for Rotation

Carmen Li - Joins the Shank Lab for Rotation

Lauren Intravaia - Joins the Walhout Lab for Rotation

Bradley Class Joins the Youk Lab for Rotation


The Mitchell Lab Welcomes Sydney Schock (GSBS Student)

September, 2021

The Youk Lab Welcomes Helen Magana (GSBS Student)

September, 2021

The Dekker Lab Welcomes Jiangyuan Liu (GSBS Student) and Xiangru Huo (Bioinformatician)

September, 2021

More News