Introduction to Systems Biology

This course is offered in Dutch. Some of the descriptions may therefore only be available in Dutch.

Course Objective

The properties of cells and higher levels of organisation emerges out of
molecular interactions within huge networks. Examples of such molecular-
reaction networks are: metabolism, signal transduction, and gene
networks. Systems biology studies the principles of such networks using
quantitative experiments, computer modelling and theory.

The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the approach
taken in systems biology. We will study a number of theoretical findings
of systems biology about the dynamics and regulation of molecular
networks inside living cells using small "toy" mathematical models and
basic principles of biochemistry and physics.

Course Content

The following topics will be discussed:
- mass-action kinetics and basic enzyme kinetics
- thermodynamic equilibrium and steady state
- dynamics of simple systems
- protein complex formation, allosteric interactions, and cooperativity
- ultrasensitivity of small signalling circuits
- supply and demand as coarse-grained method to dissect regulation of
- robust integral feedback control
- role of positive and negative feedback

The practicals involve answering exercises and basic plotting of results
of mathematical models.

Teaching Methods

lecture series and supervised work groups in which assignments from the
syllabus are made

Method of Assessment

Written exam (open book). Learned techniques will have to be applied to
new systems.

Entry Requirements

Basic knowledge of mathematics (differential equations, differentiation,
formula manipulation), (bio-)chemistry, and cell biology.


Syllabus (gratis via BB)

Target Audience

Students interested in the intricate workings of biological systems and
not afraid of basic equations describing the properties of dynamic

General Information

Course Code X_401042
Credits 3 EC
Period P4
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition Dutch
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. B. Teusink
Examiner prof. dr. B. Teusink
Teaching Staff prof. dr. B. Teusink
prof. dr. F.J. Bruggeman

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Practical
Target audiences

This course is also available as: