Although molecular biology is considered to have been founded by physicists, this circumstance did not result in a quantitative culture and an accurate, standardized descriptive language characteristic of the hard sciences. On the contrary, with very few exceptions, the biosciences that developed since that time seldom took the opportunity to formalize the mechanisms and functions of living systems with accurate languages and codes, with a nearly complete disregard for metrology: the theory and practice of quantitative measurement. Systems Biology occupies this niche by analysing biological entities as comprehensible physicochemical objects with a functioning logic that can be modelled, understood and reshaped. By the same token, synthetic biology is not just a contemporary update of the recombinant DNA technologies of the past 30 years, along with a descriptive language imported from electrical and industrial engineering. It is also a new interpretative key for living systems as well as a declaration of intent on the use and reprogramming of biological objects for human benefit. In the same way that scientific chemistry as initiated by Lavoisier evolved into the chemical engineering that is the basis of our industrial society, biology has acquired a transforming potential that could lead to a type of industry and economy very different from the current paradigm. The CNB SysBio Program figures in the contemporary landscape by developing active research lines in environmental genomics, network biology, systemic computation and metabolic engineering.
Head of Department: Víctor de Lorenzo
OUR RESEARCH GROUPS:
Molecular Environmental Microbiology. Víctor de Lorenzo
Evolutionary Systems. Susanna Manrubia
Computational Systems Biology. Florencio Pazos Cabaleiro
Logic of genomic systems. Juan F. Poyatos
Microbial community modelling. Javier Tamames and Carlos Pedrós