School of Biosciences and Medicine

Section of Systems Biology

Using a combination of experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches, we aim to understand, predict, and ultimately control biological systems.

Our trans-disciplinary research activities cover all aspects of modern Systems Biology: We perform experiments to investigate, quantify and characterise the response/status/output of molecular systems at global and specific levels (experimental systems biology). Through computational and mathematical modelling, we gain maximal benefit from the experimental data and frame models for further experimental testing (theoretical and computational systems biology). Finally, we design and engineer biological systems in living organisms for the purpose of improving applications for industry or biological research (synthetic biology). Overall, our research provides fundamental insights into molecular biological systems and opens new avenues for their design to underpin health and industrial biotechnology.

Our members work in the following research areas

André Gerber investigates global and specific aspects of post-transcriptional gene regulation by RNA-binding proteins and non-coding RNAs. He uses baker’s yeast, nematodes, and mammalian cells to investigate the conservation of gene regulatory circuits, its connection to other levels of cellular control (metabolism), and the implications in health and disease.

Claudio Avignone Rossa uses genome-scale metabolic network models of bacteria and human cell lines to optimize conditions for the production of compounds of medical and industrial interest. He is also interested in the study of the metabolic and physiological interactions between species in natural and synthetic microbial ecosystems, and how these evolve and adapt to changes in their environment.

Emma Laing focuses on the generation and analysis of high throughput data to further understanding of biological systems, and the development and deployment of computational approaches underpinning basic research and applications in the biosciences.

Jose Jimenez applies experimental evolution and systematic engineering in bacterial systems, combining simple genetic circuits to produce emergent properties that allow complex functions to be performed.

Andrea Rocco investigates noise propagation across molecular networks, and stochastic dynamics in cell differentiation. He aims to understand the balance between biological variability and individual robustness by adopting methodologies typical of theoretical physics and mathematics. 

Section lead

Name Role
Professor André Gerber  Professor of RNA Biology

Section members

Name Role
Dr Claudio Avignone Rossa Reader in Systems Microbiology
Dr Emma Laing Lecturer in Bioinformatics
Dr Jose Jimenez Lecturer in Synthetic Biology
Dr Andrea Rocco Lecturer in Mathematical Biology