Community web-portal launched

2 Sep 2013

Building a European Systems Biology community

The European Systems Biology Community website, a unique initiative to provide researchers and stakeholders with a spectrum of community-centred services, will be launched during the 14th International Conference in Systems Biology (ICSB2013, Copenhagen, 30th August – 3rd September).

Systems biology is an emergent field that aims to understand life at a various levels, from genes to organisms to entire ecosystems, and it requires high-end technologies and multidisciplinary expertise.  Systems biology studies are highly interdisciplinary, often involving collaborations between geneticists, molecular biologists, mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists, among others. For this reason, the systems biology community is large and interactive, but its identity and borders are poorly defined, which brings specific challenges.

James Sharpe, leader of Community Building activities in the Infrastructure for Systems Biology – Europe (ISBE) consortium and head of the Systems Biology Programme at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) explains: “Within this emerging field of systems biologists, researchers who could productively solve their problems together – for example experimentalists and theoreticians – may not be familiar with each other’s work. To help this interdisciplinary mix of scientists to connect with each other, and also thus to start defining the European landscape of systems biologists, ISBE is creating this community website”.

The specific objectives of this initiative are:

  • Create a “Who’s Who?” in European systems biology
  • Serve as an interaction and networking platform for everyone interested in systems biology
  • Provide a central portal for access to systems biology related information
  • Facilitate communication and debate within the community

Using search options and a novel interactive network visualization tool, the user will have access to community-centred information, and will be able to contribute to building the community by providing information and by participating in the open conversations and debates.

Community Building is one of the tasks of the ISBE consortium, which aims at the establishment of a Europe-wide, distributed infrastructure providing access to state-of-the-art facilities for systems biology to the research community. The ISBE consortium is integrated by 23 partner institutions from 11 European countries and it is coordinated by Richard Kitney from the Imperial College London; ISBE activities are supported by a grant from the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission.

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