Thanks to modern technology, researchers can analyze immune responses and interactions between disease-causing organisms (pathogens) and their hosts across scales ranging from signaling networks in cells to individual cell behavior to the functioning of a tissue, an organ, and the whole organism. The challenge of studying such complex systems is not only collecting the large amounts of data that new technologies permit, but also organizing the information in a way that enhances understanding of how the immune system works or how pathogens affect their hosts.
To help meet this challenge, in FY 2011 NIAID established the Laboratory of Systems Biology (LSB). The laboratory is designed to facilitate the interdisciplinary approaches needed to predict the behavior of complex biological systems, from molecules to organisms. Understanding the properties of these systems could help scientists explain the basis for normal and abnormal responses to infection or vaccination and be used to design new therapies or vaccines.
LSB is expected to play a major role in fostering the growth of systems biology efforts across the National Institutes of Health (NIH). LSB members will be involved in an extensive web of formal and informal interactions with other intramural scientists at NIH and with outside research groups in the United States and abroad that have a common interest in a systems approach to biology.
Learn more about the NIAID Laboratory of Systems Biology.
Last Updated January 08, 2013
Last Reviewed January 08, 2013