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The Computational Systems Biology Learning Network

Project ID: 4016
Project homepage:

Project Leader

PhD Andrew D. Barbour
Institute of Mathematics
University of Zurich
Winterthurstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

Project Coordinator

PhD Kurt Hanselmann
swiss | i - research & training

Project Partners

Ph.D. Sebastian Bonhoeffer
Theoretical Biology, ETHZ
Ph.D. Hansueli Schwarzenbach
Center for Computational Physics, University of Applied Sciences, FHW, Winterthur


BioSym is an interactive bio-modeling training course which applies mathematical models as learning and research tools at all levels of science education. In the BioSym courses students learn how to design mathematical models, they experience the power of modeling biological processes and systems, and how to use simulations skillfully. The modular structure allows one to incorporate individual models into science curricula at institutions with different needs. New contents can be added at any time. The course starts by introducing classical dynamic models, advances to stochastic models and introduces, on an advanced level, finite element models and modeling which can assist students in designing quantitative experiments and handling large data sets. Real life data are used for model building. Modules are tailored to acquire modeling skills for specialized topics like analysis of metabolomes and genomes, metabolic networks and biochemical control mechanisms, regulation of physiological processes, spreading of antibiotic resistances, population selection and adaptation, containment of pandemics of infectious diseases and pharmacodynamics. BioSym is based on widely used mathematical computing software with graphical user interfaces. Interactive courses are organized via the OLAT learning management system, and certain contents are made available as presentation documents and recorded lectures and tutorials which allows for time-independent active participation. Interested students with a good foundation in mathematics will be able to follow the course program independently.

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