Services and expertise, modalities and resources

Expertise

    ISBE will offer the following expertise via its network of national systems biology centres (nSBCs):

  • Modelling of biological systems based on integration of diverse data sets
    • Support life scientists, proficient or unskilled in systems biology, in developing quantitative and predictive computational models of biological systems, integrating diverse data sets.
    • Offer a wide range of modelling approaches for systems ranging from subcellular molecular networks to cells, tissues, organs and complete organisms.
    • Provide model analysis and validation and model-based simulation to gain insight into the behaviour of systems.
  • Stewardship and standardisation
    • Develop and promote best practices, community standards and standard operation procedures (SOPs) that are easy to use and can be widely implemented by life sciences communities.
    • Format and semantically link protocols, data, models and tools using community-adopted standards and annotations to make the results of research projects reproducible and integratable. This is essential to make results re-usable and stepwise expand data and models as research projects progress.
  • Generation of integratable and model-compliant data
    • Offer support in the generation of data sets that can be integrated and fit for modelling
    • Support of careful planning and execution of experiments (experimental design).

Services and modalities

ISBE’s services are offered in various modalities, fitting the full range of needs of diverse life science communities.

  • Web-based access to repositories and archives

    ISBE will offer curation of models and data, tools and protocols linked to them, throughout the life-time of the projects and beyond. This will make data, tools and models re-usable over prolonged periods of time; in other projects and by other researchers.

  • Consultancy
    Users may contact ISBE to get information and advice from experts about the use systems biology and how to implement it in (small or large) research programmes.
  • Contract activities
    National SBCs, individually or in groups (depending on the requested service), will offer to guide or to carry out those components of research projects that require specific expertise.
    This includes the following activities.

    • design of experimental approaches and efficient workflows that allow the development of quantitative and predictive models of complex biological systems
    • acquisition of data that are fit for modelling
    • model-driven integration of diverse data sets
    • development of quantitative and predictive models
    • validation and analysis of models
    • model simulation to gain insight into the behaviour of complex systems
  • Training and education

    • ISBE will provide information about and access to a wide range of training and education programmes in the field of systems biology.

    Resources

    Complementary to its services described above, ISBE will offer web-based access to a variety of resources and pools. These will help researchers to develop their own systems biology approaches.

    • Tools
      • to enable non-experts to construct maps and computational models that are based on experimental data
      • to analyse and validate models and share them with others
      • to carry out model simulations
    • Data, maps and models
      • selected, curated and annotated public data sets that are fit for modelling
      • curated and annotated maps and models in standardised formats
    • Community standards and SOPs
      • information about formats, standards and SOPs that are accepted and used by the systems biology community

    Community activities and information

    Users and providers of ISBE will form an active community who will take responsibility for developing modelling and data standards, best practices and standard operating procedures. This will enable life scientists to structure, annotate and store their data and models and makes that their results become re-usable and can be merged with those of others.

    In doing so, ISBE will be the European component in an international network of expert reference centres that facilitates the international development and acceptance of best practices, standard and SOPs in the life sciences in general and systems biology in particular.