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Theoretical Systems Biology

Master in Life Sciences, ENS
BIO_M2_E26 | Theoretical systems biology
Year and Semester : M2 | S1
Where : Biology department,
Duration : 1 week
Dates : November 18-22, 2024

—2024-2025 programme to come—


Vincent Hakim, CNRS, ENS
Aleksandra Walczak, CNRS, ENS




Quantitative biology | Systems biology | Modelling | Dynamical systems | Stochasticity | Inference

Course prerequisites

Basic mathematical methods : integration, differentiation, basic differential equations, probability distributions. Basic programming skills or very strong willingness to learn.

Course objectives and description

Aims : Biology is undergoing a quantitative revolution. Apart from a growing impact of theoretical models that guide and help interpret experiments, experimental analysis is requiring more and more advanced methods. This course, aimed at students with both experimental and theoretical interests, aims to discuss a number of theoretical approaches that are currently used in different fields of biology. By discussing these methods in the context of real experiments, the course will also sensitize students to careful quantifications, its benefits and difficulties.
Themes : Methodological themes : differential equations/dynamics, inference, elements of bioinformatics, stochastic processes, networks. | Biological themes : development, cellular and molecular systems biology, metabolism, protein evolution, noise, chemotaxis, active matter.
Organisation : The course will consist of five lectures, each 3 hours long, every morning from Monday to Friday. In the afternoon the students will take part in hands-on exercise sessions to gain experience with the theoretical methods. The students will also work on a literature inspired project where they will be asked to reproduce certain modelling aspects of a chosen paper.


The course will be graded based on student presentations about the literature-based project scheduled on last day course. The students will be strongly encouraged to work as a team.