Computational biology consists of the use of techniques such as computational simulations, data analysis and mathematical modeling to study a large collection of biological problems.
In this course we will always start from a specific biological problem and discuss how computational techniques are used to obtain a solution.
For some of the topics we will involve external experts. Each of these topics starts with the definition of the biological problem, in a way that does not assume prior biological knowledge. Some examples of topics (possibly) covered:
- Study of metabolic fluxes.
- Modelling of growth
- Modelling of locomotion
- Climate models
- Biological evolution
- Computational neurobiology
- Social networks and population dynamics
- Molecular interaction networks
- Bio-inspired computing
- Computing with biomolecules
There exist quite a few different definitions of computational biology, making the distinction with bioinformatics not always clear. In UAntwerpen curriculum we offer both courses, and we distinguish the fields as follows. Computational biology differs from bioinformatics in terms of both the biological and computational terms of scope. Bioinformatics is a more narrowly defined discipline which focuses on the use of data science and information theory techniques for interpreting biomolecular data such as DNA and RNA. Computational biology involves a much wider range of biological applications, and also makes use of mathematical modeling and computer simulations.