Systems Biology

Systems BiologySystems Biology

Systems Biology

  • Research programme page
  • Members


Coordinator: Ben Lehner 

The research groups in the Systems Biology program cover a wide range of topics: from dynamic gene regulatory networks to systems neuroscience, and employ a wide range of model systems to address these issues, including prokaryotes, cell lines, C. elegans, Drosophila and mice.

Underlying this diversity, however, are the common goals of combining systematic and quantitative data collection, using computational models, going beyond molecular descriptions and arriving at a deeper dynamic understanding of complex biological processes.

To achieve these goals the program is strongly interdisciplinary, comprising an increasing number of physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists, in addition to biologists. In this way the program tackles topics such as: signal transduction, gene regulatory networks, multicellular patterning, chemotaxis, systems neuroscience, the evolution of networks, and the impact of stochastic noise at the whole organism level.

We have strong interactions with the local systems biology groups in the UPF. In particular, we consider one lab as being associated to our program:

  • The lab of Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo, who focuses on dynamical systems analysis of various biological phenomena.


With the formation of the partnership (2006-2016) between EMBL and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO), these institutes were set to advance the understanding of complex biological systems. This  partnership combined EMBL's expertise in computational biology with the CRG's know-how in specific areas of genomics and proteomics and allowed to better understand some of the key aspects of human health.

Head of this unit on the campus of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park was Luis Serrano, also director of the CRG. Research drew on the expertise of various scientific disciplines and spanned the entire range from molecules to cells. The four multidisciplinary groups worked with a variety of research techniques, including RNA interference, biochemical networks and mouse development.


Ben Lehner
Luis Serrano Pubul
Mara Dierssen Sotos
Manuel Irimia
Nicholas Edward Stroustrup
Arnau Sebe Pedros
Amelie Baud


Verena Ruprecht
Sara Sdelci


Integrated in a senior research group, Staff Scientists support the research of the group, while having a degree of scientific independence to lead their own research line (i.e. co‐mentoring of PhD students, being senior authors in publications and applying for grants). As Faculty Members, Staff Scientists are evaluated every 4 years by an external committee composed of SAB and ad‐hoc members in the framework of the Programme’s evaluation.

Raúl Burgos Castellanos