First, systems biology is an inter-disciplinary approach, requiring the combined talents of biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists. Second, systems biology is holistic, with the goal of obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the workings of biological systems. This is achieved through the acquisition of massive amounts of data by high-throughput technologies—oligonucleotide microarrays, mass spectrometry, and next-generation sequencing—and the analysis of this data through sophisticated mathematical algorithms. It is perhaps the use of mathematics, to integrate abundant and diverse types of data and to generate models of interconnected molecular networks, that best characterizes systems biology.
This volume will be of great interest to investigators already engaged in systems biology research as well as to those scientists and clinicians who may be seeking an introduction to the field. By assembling a diverse spectrum of perspectives and expertise, it is hoped that the information provided will serve as a catalyst for additional innovative approaches. Written by leading experts in this interdisciplinary approach combining talents of biologists, mathematicians and computer scientists.