The Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology (NCSB) officially started its research program on 15 October. This 30 million Euro research program (2008 – 2013) marks the start of a new area in Life Sciences. It bundles the expertise of Dutch Scientific Institutes, combining experimental biological work with mathematical and computational modelling.
NCSB will implement systems biology in Dutch biomedical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and biotechnological research. Topics range from flower development and the improvement of tomato flavours to the functioning of intestinal flora and the metabolic syndrome. Until now, the extreme complexity of biological systems prevented the understanding of how these systems function in detail. By mathematically and computationally modeling biological systems, predictions can be made of their behaviour. The research group Biomodeling and Biosystems Analysis at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica has become the expert centre for the NCSB for the development of computational and mathematical models.
Unique is the fact that a group of modellers from systems biology institutes all over the Netherlands gather every week at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica to work together on the development of models.
NCSB is co-financed by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI) and the participating Dutch research institutes and universities.