Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in several training areas, including Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics.

Program Features

  • Integrated training in molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, and systems biology
  • Quantitative reasoning and computational approaches integrated throughout the curriculum
  • Research projects focused on mechanisms underlying human diseases, drug discovery, and drug action

Program Overview

Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics (SBDT) trains graduate students in research that aims to understand the complex interactions underlying human disease, and how drugs can be used to treat these diseases. Knowledge of the healthy and diseased states of a cell, tissue, or organism, requires an understanding of networks of molecular interactions within and between cells.

The Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics curriculum emphasizes the integration of concepts from multiple disciplines: genomics, molecular biology and biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology. Important approaches for this integration are quantitative reasoning and computational biology. This program, set within a tightly knit medical school and hospital environment, provides unique opportunities to study systems from genomes and proteins to cells to animal models to humans at both the bench and the bedside.

Faculty members investigate complex disease processes and drug actions in many cell types, tissues, and organs, with the shared underlying philosophy that systems approaches are required for transformative advances. Many SBDT faculty members employ high-throughput technologies such as proteomics, microarrays or mRNA –Seq to get global pictures of the system being studied. Analysis of these large datasets requires quantitative approaches. Mathematics and statistics provide a common language for understanding biomedical processes across scales of organization, so quantitative reasoning and computational approaches are integrated into the curriculum at all levels and used by many of the faculty in their research programs.

This is an interactive program with a biweekly luncheon-journal club, seminars, works-in-progress and an annual retreat. All of these forums provide extensive opportunities to interact with SBDT faculty. The core courses, journal clubs, lab rotations, and works-in-progress presentations provide our students with an understanding of how to use diverse data sets and computational approaches to delineate biological networks, how to translate this information into new therapeutic and preventive strategies, and how to apply this paradigm to their own research.


Program Co-Director

Jeanne Hirsch, PhD is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics. Her laboratory studies signal transduction pathways that are mediated by heterotrimeric G proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Program Co-Director

Eric Sobie, PhD is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and a member of the Systems Biology Center of New York (SBCNY). His research focuses on gaining quantitative understanding of normal and pathological heart function through the coupling of experimental measurements with mathematical modeling.

Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics

systems bio brochureThe Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in several training areas, including Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics. Read More