Systems Biology and Computational Physiology

understanding dynamics and regulation in complex biochemical networks and physiological systems

The ability of the human body to maintain function in spite of large variations in the environment can be attributed to the presence of control loops. On the other hand, many diseases are related to malfunctioning of these control loops. It is of utmost importance to understand bioregulation, its goals and means, to enable new and more rational medical treatment of diseases.


The Systems Biology research program aims at increased quantitative knowledge of (complex) physiological processes in cells, tissues, organs and organisms. Integrative models of biological processes and physiological systems are being developed. The dynamic models are based on knowledge of the underlying mechanisms and are primarily described using sets of differential equations. Considering the ambition to develop reliable, predictive models, the available  information of biological processes is usually insufficient, especially quantitative data are relatively scarce. Therefore, the design of highly informative experiments to quantify model parameters and validate model predictions is an essential part of our research. The mathematical models provide a platform for hypothesis-driven research, iteratively yielding models that are decreasingly wrong.

In this interdisciplinary program expertise from system and control theory is applied, but methods and techniques are also adapted to suit the specific problems and requirements in biomedical research.


Research topics:

eSyBi - Eindhoven biomedical Systems Biology


calcium homeostasis and contraction glucose tolerance test to quantify insuline sensitivity energy metabolism in myocyte NF-kappa B - unfolded protein response  

figure from Science, December 5, 2003; 302: 1646-1649
'Systems Biology: Tracing Life's Circuitry'




For more information contact

  • Dr. ir. Natal van Riel (room Gemini-Zuid 3.109, n.a.w.v.riel, tel: 040 247 5506)

For comments on this page, please send an email to n.a.w.v.riel

Last update: Oct. 2011