Research Areas

ResearchCurrently, about 80 MIT faculty members participate in CSBi (MIT's Computational and Systems Biology research and education initiative). These investigators span nearly all departments in the School of Science and the School of Engineering. Thus, students in the CSBi graduate program can pursue thesis research in a wide variety of laboratories. Students are also encouraged to arrange collaborative thesis projects with joint supervision from faculty members with different areas of expertise.

At MIT, education and research efforts in computational and systems biology are characterized by integration of high-throughput experimental approaches with modeling aimed at understanding and predicting system behavior, and rational system perturbation for model descrimination and testing. Efforts in high-throughput biology emphasize the systematic collection of data and the development of new experimental methods (e.g., microfabrication). Research in computational biology aims to develop models of biological systems and statistical and algorithmic aproaches to identify underlying relationships in large datasets and to capture this information in predictive models. Finally, design is an important facet of systems biology where the goal is to make rational modifications to biological systems or engineer new systems built from biological components. This type of system characterization and manipulation promises a route to practical advances in biotechnology and medicine. The strong focus on building and testing detailed, quantitative, and predictive models of biological systems is a defining feature of the MIT program. Such models form the basis of understanding and the foundation of design.

Examples of active research areas include:

  • Biomaterials
  • Biological Design and Synthetic Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell and Tissue Engineering
  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Genomics and Proteomics
  • Gene and Protein Networks
  • Imaging and Image Informatics
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Nanobiology and Microsystems
  • Neurosystems Biology
  • Predictive Toxicology

Read about research interests of individual CSBi faculty members.

Read about special focus areas and collaborative projects in the CSBi program at MIT.