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Modeling dynamical systems in biology

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Didier GONZE (Coordinator)

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

Mathematical modeling and numerical simulations are commonly used to study dynamical behaviours of biological systems. We will introduce the theoretical concepts required to build and to analyse such mathematical models: chemical and enzyme kinetics, non-linear differential equations, stability analysis, phase plane, bifurcations, attractors. The development of models will be illustrated for various cellular processes: gene regulatory networks, metabolic networks, cellular signalling. A particular attention will be given to the relationships between regulatory circuits and dynamical behaviours (homeostasis, oscillations, multi-stability). Several systems will be studied through numerical simulation on a computer. An introduction to metabolic modeling (5h) will be given by Karoline Faust (KU Leuven).

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

Introduction to modeling dynamical systems in biology: we will show how mathematical models help to understand the behaviour of biological systems at the molecular and cellular levels.


Courses requiring this course

Teaching methods and learning activities

Theory + exercises + practicals

References, bibliography, and recommended reading

  • Brian Ingalls (2018) Mathematical Modeling in Systems Biology: An Introduction (MIT Press)
  • Uri Alon (2019) An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits (Chapman & Hall/CRC Computational Biology Series) 

Course notes

  • Université virtuelle

Other information


Didier Gonze

Email: dgonze@ulb.ac.be
Tel: 5730
Office: Campus Plaine, Building NO, Room




Method(s) of evaluation

  • written examination

Language(s) of evaluation

  • english