The Center for Systems Biology is one of the National Centers for Systems Biology funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The Center, located at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, Washington, is comprised of three research foci , model systems, mammalian systems and computational biology, unified by the question: How do dynamic molecular networks respond to environmental cues?
Since 2006, the Center has provided partial funding and Core facility support to over 30 researchers per year, including 70 interns (both high school and undergraduate), 29 graduate students, and 58 postdoctoral fellows. The Center coordinates and supports training and collaboration across research groups. The Center has catalyzed new research opportunities, technologies and insights that can only be gleaned through multidisciplinary collaborative approaches.
Biological Inquiry Drives the Development of New Tools and Approaches
In the fifth year of the Center, the research programs are unified in their need to pursue information at the level of single cells, or single molecules, to understand the regulation of complex biological processes. Researchers are using microfluidic devices and high throughput imaging to conduct systems level studies of single cell state or transcriptomic profiling. The Center-funded Microfluidics and Imaging Core has proved to be a vital resource. The Informatics Core has provided ISB a stable platform for organizing and analyzing disparate data.
Algorithms have been developed to infer network models for genetic interaction, gene regulation, transcription factor regulation, and single cell decision making. The iterative process of experimentation and computational analysis has resulted in network models that enable the testing of complex hypotheses at the systems level.
The Center has created new infrastructure and educational programs within ISB to enable multidisciplinary research, and we devote considerable effort to teaching science in ways that will empower current and future scientists to pursue multidisciplinary, quantitative studies in biology.