Quantitative biology at FMI
Medicine sits on the brink of innovation based on the correlation of molecular measurements with disease progression, response to therapy and disease outcome. All this depends on a deeper understanding of cell and tissue physiology in quantitative terms.
In a time where biological data is available not only in vast quantities but also in unprecedented quality, we now have the ability to describe biological and biomedical phenomena quantitatively. Single molecule technologies permit us to follow the path of individual proteins, DNA or RNA molecules and quantitate their interactions in real-time. Imaging technologies allow us to penetrate deeper and with higher resolution into tissues, from which we obtain quantitative information about function. The advent of “omics” – genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics – has produced high-quality comparative data that allows us to model and understand molecular interactions in cells and whole organisms, and understand them as systems. Finally, quantitative measurements on how cells interact in a tissue will both provide parameters for diagnostics and serve as the basis of novel treatments for human disease.
At the FMI we use innovative methods of quantitative biology to measure, model and test cellular functions relevant to disease. We bring together mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists and biologists, to elucidate the fundamental underpinnings of science-based, personalized medicine. While quantitative biology as an approach bridges all our research domains, we are making a unique attempt at the FMI to link these to applications in human health.
Groups at FMI using quantitative biological approaches:
Cell fate transitions
Molecular mechanisms of DNA replication and chromosome maintenance
Susan M. Gasser
Nuclear organization in development and genome stability
Chromosome structure and transcriptional regulation
Cellular heterogeneity during collective cell behavior
Mechanisms of DNA repair
The molecular basis of genome maintenance
Self-organizing cellular systems
Mohamed Bentires-Alj has left the FMI for a faculty position at the Departement Biomedizin of the University Hospital Basel.