PhD in Systems Biology

Understanding the function of complex biological systems has been identified as one of the greatest challenges facing science. Technical advances in high-throughput sequencing, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics have led to an explosion of data, and have generated a near complete molecular anatomy of living organisms, including the identification of the ~22,500 genes that guide human biology. This wealth of information has revolutionized biology. It has also revealed how little we understand about life processes. Rather than studying the function of these individual molecular components in isolation, systems biology seeks to understand how individual components interact in time and space to determine the behaviour of a biological system as a whole. To do this, systems biology typically involves the use of a combination of laboratory experiments and computational modelling to reveal how components work together in the context of cells, organs and whole organisms.  Further information about systems biology at UCL can be found at:

Applications for a PhD in Systems Biology will be welcomed from students interested in combining experimental and modeling approaches to answer fundamental problems in biology. Applicants should have a degree in biological, medical, engineering or physical sciences. Those with a background in the life sciences will be expected to demonstrate skills in mathematics and physical sciences and should have pursued at least one of these subjects to A-level. Students joining this thematic strand will be expected to carry out research projects in their MRes year and PhD that combine experimental design, data collection, analysis and modelling.

Applicants should apply using the CoMPLEX application process ( and should state clearly on the application form (section 15) that they are interested in applying for the systems biology PhD.

Systems Biology

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