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From Computational Biophysics to Systems Biology

May 19-21 2013, Norman, Oklahoma, USA


Development of biofuels, novel drugs, or an understanding of many illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer's or other amyloid diseases, requires insight into the molecular machinery of cells. Systems biology obtains such insight from an analysis of the biological networks that describe the interaction and regulation of the various biomolecules. However, cellular processes are often controlled by transient interactions between proteins that are difficult to determine by experiments. Simulations can complement experiments and trace such interactions, but their use is often limited by a lack of synergy between the systems biology community, where information-based approaches dominate, and computational biophysics with its focus on physics- and chemistry-based approaches.

That workshop aimed to overcome this divide and to bring together researchers from physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science to acquaint each other with current trends in computational biophysics and systems biology, to explore avenues of cooperation, and to establish together a detailed understanding of cells at a molecular level.

That meeting was the seventh in a series of workshops of the same name organized in both Germany and the USA. Its main focus was on:

  • Protein folding and aggregation
  • Multi-protein complexes and supramolecular assemblies
  • Cellular environments and interaction networks
  • Models, algorithms and computers