Systems Biology: a Grand Challenge for Europe

Project Number SPB N°25


Professor Roel van Driel, Univ. of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Professor Hans Westerhoff, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK


Biological and biomedical research is undergoing revolutionary developments that will have a great and lasting impact on society. These developments involve several other sciences, and they enable us to know and measure the properties of the molecules which constitute life.
They are capable of revealing the complete sets of chemical reactions, interactions and dynamic structures through which molecules, cells and organs determine the functioning of living organisms, including man. Integrating the vast amounts of data available on these components and their interactions, and understanding how life arises from and is governed by them, is termed Systems Biology or Integrative Biology.
The ultimate aim of Systems Biology is to incorporate all processes of the living cell in a dynamic description of these processes, which should provide a basis for the true understanding of the complex network of processes that we call 'Life'.
The ESF policy briefing is the outcome of the ESF Forward Look on Systems Biology and is aimed at summarising the recommendations made by the high level expert group.


The Science Policy Briefing was published in October 2005 PDF245KB.