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Training Interdisciplinary Scientists for Systems Biology
  1. Marc T. Facciotti, PhD
  1. From the University of California, Davis, Department of Biomedical Engineering and U.C. Davis Genome Center, University of California, Davis, CA.
  1. Received December 5, 2008.
  2. Accepted for publication December 9, 2008.
  3. Reprints: Marc T. Facciotti, PhD, University of California, Davis, Department of Biomedical Engineering and U.C. Davis Genome Center, One Shields Drive, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (e-mail:
  4. Funding: This symposium was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources (R13 RR023236).
  5. The author declares no conflict of interest.


The rise of interdisciplinary research programs in recent years has spawned numerous questions regarding the best way to organize interdisciplinary programs and how to best train new interdisciplinary scientists in ways that will catalyze novel discoveries in biology. Systems biology, a relatively new branch of science, can be considered in many respects a poster child for modern interdisciplinary science. It not only requires that people from different traditional disciplines work closely together but it also requires the development of unique training environments to educate the next generation of systems biologists. The unique scientific and training challenges associated with the development of systems biology are certainly faced across the spectrum of interdisciplinary endeavors. Therefore, it is useful for scientists interested in building interdisciplinary research programs to consider the merits of successful systems biology initiatives. Institute for Systems Biology is one such example, and in the following, several key aspects of Institute for Systems Biology that make it both a unique and successful interdisciplinary science and training center are discussed.

Key Words
  • systems biology
  • interdisciplinary science
  • training

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