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Experimental Methods in Systems Biology (Coursera)

Learn about the technologies underlying experimentation used in systems biology, with particular focus on RNA sequencing, mass spec-based proteomics, flow/mass cytometry and live-cell imaging. A key driver of the systems biology field is the technology allowing us to delve deeper and wider into how cells respond to experimental perturbations. This in turns allows us to build more detailed quantitative models of cellular function, which can give important insight into applications ranging from biotechnology to human disease. This course gives a broad overview of a variety of current experimental techniques used in modern systems biology, with focus on obtaining the quantitative data needed for computational modeling purposes in downstream analyses.

We dive deeply into four technologies in particular, mRNA sequencing, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, flow/mass cytometry, and live-cell imaging. These techniques are often used in systems biology and range from genome-wide coverage to single molecule coverage, millions of cells to single cells, and single time points to frequently sampled time courses. We present not only the theoretical background upon which these technologies work, but also enter real wet lab environments to provide instruction on how these techniques are performed in practice, and how resultant data are analyzed for quality and content.

Experimental Methods in Systems Biology is course 2 of 6 in the Systems Biology and Biotechnology Specialisation.

Design systems-level experiments using appropriate cutting edge techniques, collect big data, and analyze and interpret small and big data sets quantitatively. The Systems Biology Specialization covers the concepts and methodologies used in systems-level analysis of biomedical systems. Successful participants will learn how to use experimental, computational and mathematical methods in systems biology and how to design practical systems-level frameworks to address questions in a variety of biomedical fields. In the final Capstone Project, students will apply the methods they learned in five courses of specialization to work on a research project.