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Tackling the future challenges in Systems Biology

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Exploiting health research in Europe

Researchers have brought the development of the new systems approach to biology to the attention of a wider public in the EU. This rapidly developing competence is leading towards more personalised medicine.

Health

Systems biology aims to create mathematical models or use a computer to construct biological systems and processes. This emerging field, which applies to biomedical and biological scientific research, is likely to have a major impact on the biosciences in the near future. The ability to predict the behaviour of biological systems should allow us to accurately foresee the outcome of medical treatments for individual patients. Therefore, it is of major socioeconomic interest for the EU to develop this research field. 'Tackling the future challenges in systems biology' (Futuresysbio) is an EU-funded project that aims to predict and shape the future development of the systems biology field. By encouraging and structuring debate on the field's development, the project will be able to provide guidance to stakeholders and scientists alike. To achieve its goals, the project team has organised major international conferences, expert workshops and meetings on various topics concerning systems biology. These scientific events have been used to inform funding organisations, both nationally and internationally, of the future directions of systems biology. Likewise, they have also presented potential funding opportunities and priorities. In addition, pharmaceutical and bio-industries as well as higher education and training institutions in Europe have been brought up to date with the latest developments. These and other events organised within the Futuresysbio project have promoted the systems biology approach and facilitated communication among different stakeholders. The project has also succeeded in putting systems biology on the political agenda, at least at a regional level. In future, these aspects are expected to impact the interaction between research, industry and political decision-makers, to the benefit of the EU's health sector.

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