Biology is transitioning from a largely qualitative to a more and more quantitative science and Computational Biology is playing a key role in this transition, both in enabling a quantitative approach and in broadening the scope of the biological questions that can be asked.
The mission of the Department of Computational Biology (DBC) has three main components:
- Basic research in Computational Biology
- Use of computational approaches to answer questions that are relevant to biological and medical research
- Teaching and supervision in quantitative biology
In our research, we use modelling, simulation and, in general, computational approaches as main investigative tools. We take advantage from data generated by high-throughput technologies to address a plethora of biological and medical questions, ranging from fundamental aspects of cell biology to those of the entire organism, populations, species, or even whole ecosystems.
Our department is thus a key component across virtually all domains of biology, from molecular genetics or epidemiology to evolutionary biology, which are at the main research focuses within the Faculty of Biology and Medicine (FBM). Despite the diversity of applications, many key computational concepts and tools are common to many areas, since they all involve the analysis of complex data of biological structures or systems. The goal of the DBC is therefore to centralize the analytical expertise while having a broad range of research questions.