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Biology is complex. Even the simplest organisms such as M. genitalium are amazingly complex, containing hundreds of genes and an untold number of molecular interactions. Humans beings are unimaginably complex. Humans have all of the complexity of individual cells as well as the complexity of tissues, organs, and entire organisms.

Despite decades of experimental and computational research, we still don't have an integrated understanding of how phenotypes emerge from the level of individual molecules. Novel computational techniques which integrate heterogeneous data and mathematics are desperately needed to tackle the overwhelming complexity of biology.

Our goal is to understand and reverse engineer the complexity of biology to enable (1) personalized and predictive medicine and (2) rational bioengineering. As a stepping stone in this direction, we've recently focused on two specific questions:

Our approach is to develop comprehensive computational models, and to compare model predictions to experimental data. We believe these models are essential to reverse engineering biology. Achieving these models requires substantial innovation:

Icahn Institute for Genomics & Multiscale Biology
Department of Genetics & Genomic Sciences
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
© Jonathan Karr 2011-2014
Last updated Jan 6 2014