BE 150/Bi 250b Winter 2012
Systems Biology  
Instructors

Teaching Assistants

Course Description
BE 150: Quantitative studies of cellular and developmental systems in biology, including the architecture of specific genetic circuits controlling microbial behaviors and multicellular development in model organisms. Specific topics include chemotaxis, multistability and differentiation, biological oscillations, stochastic effects in circuit operation, as well as higherlevel circuit properties such as robustness. Organization of transcriptional and proteinprotein interaction networks at the genomic scale. Topics are approached from experimental, theoretical and computational perspectives.
Bi 250c: The class will focus on quantitative studies of cellular and developmental systems in biology. It will examine the architecture of specific genetic circuits controlling microbial behaviors and multicellular development in model organisms. The course will approach most topics from both experimental and theoretical/computational perspectives. Specific topics include chemotaxis, multistability and differentiation, biological oscillations, stochastic effects in circuit operation, as well as higherlevel circuit properties such as robustness. The course will also consider the organization of transcriptional and proteinprotein interaction networks at the genomic scale.
Announcements
 2 Oct 2011: web page creation
Textbook
The primary text for the course (available via the online bookstore) is
[Alon]  U. Alon, An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits, CRC Press, 2006. 
The following additional texts and notes may be useful for some students:
[FBS]  K. J. Astrom and R. M. Murray, Feedback Systems. Available online at http://www.cds.caltech.edu/~murray/amwiki. 
[BFS]  D. Del Vecchio and R. M. Murray, Biomolecular Feedback Systems. Available online at http://www.cds.caltech.edu/~murray/amwiki/BFS. 
[Klipp]  Edda Klipp, Wolfram Liebermeister, Christoph Wierling, Axel Kowald, Hans Lehrach, Ralf Herwig, Systems biology: A textbook. Wiley, 2009. 
[Strogatz]  Steven Strogatz, Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering. Westview Press, 2001. 
Grading
The ﬁnal grade will be based on biweekly homework sets. The homework will be due in class one week after they are assigned. Late homework will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor.
The lowest homework score you receive will be dropped in computing your homework average. In addition, if your score on the ﬁnal is higher than the weighted average of your homework and ﬁnal, your ﬁnal will be used to determine your course grade.
Collaboration Policy
Collaboration on homework assignments is encouraged. You may consult outside reference materials, other students, the TA, or the instructor. Use of solutions from previous years in the course is not allowed. All solutions that are handed in should reﬂect your understanding of the subject matter at the time of writing.
Lecture Schedule
Week  Date  Topic  Reading  Homework 
1  5 Jan MBE/RMM 
Course overview
Recitation sections (TAs):


2  10 Jan 12 Jan MBE 
Gene circuit dynamics
Recitation sections (TAs):



3  17 Jan* 19 Jan* RMM 
Circuit motifs



4  24 Jan 26 Jan RMM 
Biological clocks: how to produce oscillations in cells
Background slides on modeling and stability 


5  31 Jan 2 Feb RMM 
Robustness



6  7 Feb 9 Feb MBE 
Noise
Probabilistic differentiation (?) 


7  14 Feb+ 16 Feb MBK/MBE 
Modeling of complex biological networks (MBK)
Dynamic signal coding



8  21 Feb 23 Feb RMM 
Patterning



9  28 Feb* 1 Mar+ MBE/RMM 
Fine grain patterns



10  6 Mar 8 Mar MBE 
Epistasis and modularity

