30 participants ranging from staff to students in NUS participated in an introductory workshop specialising in Computational Systems Biology on 5 January 2015. This 1-day course was jointly organised by the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris (ENS), and the Department of Biological Sciences (DBS) in NUS.
With the study of biology moving from the interrogation of individual molecules to a systems biology approach, knowledge of the relationship between genes has deepened and improved maps of various cellular processes are being developed. To utilise this information, it is necessary to understand how these genes interact to form molecules acting as discrete functional systems. To achieve this, the application of computational modelling and simulations was taught at the workshop.
Kick-starting the program was Prof Greg Tucker-Kellogg from DBS sharing his expertise on network models in computational systems biology, followed by lectures from Prof Denis Thieffry of ENS, on topics such as logical modelling and analysis of cellular regulatory networks, and logical modeling of MAPK Signaling network. Participants were then able to experiment modelling a simple system on the GINsim 2.9.3, a software package developed by Prof Thieffry’s team.
It is hoped that this collaboration will enhance existing knowledge of how computational modelling and simulations can help understand such systems, while strengthening co-operative research ties amongst the different institutions.