Dept. of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics is a part of the University of Rostock, Germany Universitšt Rostock

Research Projects

Image: Models, Mechanisms, Complexity. To a Philosophy of Systems Biology.
System Theory

Models, Mechanisms, Complexity. To a Philosophy of Systems Biology.

The emergence of systems biology signaled a shift of focus, away from the molecular characterization of individual components, towards an understanding of functional activity. The field is however also too focused on pathway-centric approaches, mechanistic models and subcellular processes. It is increasingly evident that the behavior of cells is largely dependent upon influences from the environment. New approaches are thus required to integrate processes at the molecular and cell level with those at higher levels of structural and functional organization (e.g. tissues and tissue physiology). We argue that this calls for a rethinking of what systems biology should be about (the search for organizing principles) and that new approaches are required to tackle biological complexity. To this end we promote Mathematical General Systems Theory, multilevel modeling, and theorem proving as a way forward. In this project we are going to discuss the role of mathematical models, the notion of mechanisms and biological complexity in systems biology.

The emergence of systems biology signaled a shift of focus, away from the molecular characterization of individual components, towards an understanding of functional activity. The field is however also too focused on pathway-centric approaches, mechanistic models and subcellular processes. It is increasingly evident that the behavior of cells is largely dependent upon influences from the environment. New approaches are thus required to integrate processes at the molecular and cell level with those at higher levels of structural and functional organization (e.g. tissues and tissue physiology). We argue that this calls for a rethinking of what systems biology should be about (the search for organizing principles) and that new approaches are required to tackle biological complexity. To this end we promote Mathematical General Systems Theory, multilevel modeling, and theorem proving as a way forward.

 

In this project we are going to discuss the role of mathematical models, the notion of mechanisms and biological complexity in systems biology.

Research Team

Supported by

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft