Chair’s Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology

Our department is founded on the principle that solving today’s biomedical challenges requires understanding biology at the molecular and systems levels. What are the functions of individual genes and the proteins they encode? How do they act in combination to regulate cellular and organismal behaviors? And how can we use chemical, genetic, and computational tools to investigate these biological mechanisms in entirely new ways?

Now is an exciting time to tackle these important questions. We can sequence and edit genomes, profile proteomes, and visualize the activities of single molecules. We can construct new compounds and proteins essentially at will, creating new biological functions. Our challenge is to transform this knowledge and these capabilities into mechanistic understanding—and ultimately to translate our scientific discoveries into advances in human health. Our faculty and students strive to achieve these goals, using cutting-edge molecular and quantitative methods. Our laboratories tackle a diverse range of biological problems, including those related to cell cycle control, genomic stability, epigenetic regulation, mitochondrial function, chemotaxis, cell differentiation, and immune responses.

We welcome you to explore this website and learn more about our department—the first in the world to combine chemical biology and systems biology. In addition to pushing the boundaries of basic science, we seek to train a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists, who are uniquely empowered to address our most challenging biomedical problems. If this vision resonates with you, we invite you to apply to CSB and join our vibrant and collaborative research community.

James K. Chen
Chair, Department of Chemical and Systems Biology