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Computational Biomedical Research



In order to get a grip on the enormous complexity of biological systems, mathematical and computational methods are becoming increasingly popular. This is relevant for the understanding of biological systems and to predict how drugs can influence these systems. In this course, students will get acquainted with such mathematical and computational methods and how they can be applied to data from various applications (including networks of molecular interactions within cells; behavior of cell populations; migration of cells; interactions between living organisms and drugs). Moreover, there is a bio- and cheminformatic component. Herein students learn to computationally analyze protein sequences as well as ‘small molecules’, and ultimately model interactions between them.

Course Objectives

  • Learn how to formulate and analyse differential equation models, how to apply them to biological networks, cell populations, and organisms and how to exploit them in drug discovery

  • Learn how spatial effects can be modeled and to apply these techniques to biological systems, e.g., to describe tumor growth or cell migration

  • Learn how to apply bio- and cheminformatic tools from publicly available resources

  • Learn to use structure-activity relationships and structure-based computational chemistry

  • Learn how population models can be used to optimize and individualize drug treatment for patients.

Reading list

Literature will be provided during the course.


Dr. J.B. Beltman

Mode of instruction

The course will use a combination of lectures (1-2 hours per day, usually in the morning) and pen & paper or computer exercises (3-4 hours per day, usually in the afternoon).

Assessment method

A written exam will make up 100% of the grade. Presence and active participation during the working groups (mainly computer assignments) is mandatory.

Admission requirements & Registration

Admission to the course is only open for students who have passed their first year examination (Propedeuse). This course is especially suitable for Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences students and these students are encouraged to apply. The course is also open for students in one of the following bachelor programmes: Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Computer Science & Biology, Clinical Technology, Life Science and Technology, Molecular Science and Technology. Students in the bachelor programmes Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics or related areas may apply if they have basic knowledge of Chemistry and Biology. The maximum number of participants for the course is 15. In case more than 15 students apply, students will be selected and placed based on a motivation letter (instructions will follow after registration in uSis) and an overall balanced mix of educational backgrounds of the participants.
Maximum capacity: 15