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Objectives and Programme of Work


The SB(R)Net aims to develop systems biology research in all relevant disciplines by formulating a strategic research agenda informed by user needs from within academia, industry, government and research councils. Our WG-based framework will embrace a number of specific objectives, in particular the SB(R)Net will

  1. identify new post-genomic challenges in the field of systems biology. Based on current research needs in areas such as drug discovery and diagnostics, the identified post-genomic research challenges will be prioritised,
  2. generate thorough definitions of challenging problems in systems biology. These problems will lead to the generation of novel research and high-quality grant proposals, which will sustain the network beyond its funding period,
  3. accomplish novel research in selected areas of systems biology (see Section Scientific Background). However, the Network will leave the door open for possible contributions to other systems biology areas within the Network.
  4. identify mechanisms to promote effective interdisciplinary research between the fields of biology, mathematics, engineering and computer science. A subset of these mechanisms has to be applicable to the dissemination of ideas and results beyond the Network itself.
  5. The SB(R)Net experience and achievements during its funding period will be used to generate a number of recommendations to EPSRC on how to advance in post-genomic science. The SB(R)Net specific objectives will be supported by a framework of supplementary objectives. These are classified into three categories:
  6. Developing the research community, the SB(R)Net will:-
    • organise appropriate staff development activities,
    • support young researchers in proposing and managing high-quality research,
    • generate mechanisms to share infrastructure, research and activities between universities and research centres.
  7. Dissemination. The SB(R)Net will encourage the rapid dissemination of the SB(R)Net research outcomes to industry, government, other research partners and research funding organisations.
  8. Networking, the SB(R)Net will:-
    • brainstorm and develop new fields of study in systems biology,
    • provide a forum for researchers to reflect on national and international developments and to formulate relevant research strategies for identified needs,
    • investigate and apply strategies to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary research to promote wealth and quality of life,
    • deploy the necessary technological infrastructure to support virtual network activities that will facilitate face-to-face meetings.

Throughout the initial three-year EPSRC supported activity of the SB(R)Net, consideration will be given to planned activities beyond the funding period. Proposals for future activities will be published, together with details of resourcing and secured sustainable funding streams. These future resources will come from membership contributions, industrial sponsorship, government and European funding programmes. It is also expected that the SB(R)Net will expand beyond its funding life by migrating from face-to-face activities to virtual management and organization. In fact, the funding will serve as a facilitator for the network to mature consistently. Hopefully this three-year period will also serve as a catalyst for a larger, perhaps European or international, network on systems biology. The authors are active members of COST Action 282, which is a networking project funded by the European Scientific Foundation (ESF). The objectives of COST Action 282 include the development and implementation of new computerised systems for extracting previously unknown, non-trivial, and potentially useful knowledge from structurally complex, high-volume, distributed, and fast-changing scientific and R&D databases within the context of current and newly emeriging global computing and data infrastructures such as the Grid. Our COST experience is also a platform for the development of a new COST Action on systems biology close to the end of the funding period.

Programme of Work

The SB(R)Net's objectives will be pursued by organizing the activities within three Working Groups (WGs). Each WG will work towards specific activities and milestones. The following three WGs have been defined at the project’s kick-off meeting:

  • WG1: Data Analysis Group
    This working group will explore the data analysis challenges arising from systems biology R&D [More...]
  • WG2: Dynamic Systems Analysis Group
    The focus of WG2 is to explore systems biology approaches that attempt to model the dynamic behaviour of biological systems [More...]
  • WG3: Model Validation
    This WG will explore how a particular geobacillus could be used as ‘test bed’ for validating techniques arising from WG1 and WG2 [More...]
Created by darragh
Last modified 2005-04-26 06:04 PM

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