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Welcome to QuantBio

Explore and join QuantBio, a community of researchers at UW-Madison interested in a quantitatively integrated understanding of biological systems.


How do the different parts of biological systems work together?

What mechanisms do living organisms rely on to act and persist?

Can an integrative view of many parts of a biological system help us understand it better?

What is QuantBio?

This website aims to provide an overview of quantitative biology in Madison. It is run by people from different departments that care about quantitative analyses in biology. If you want to be listed on this page, please . We aim to promote sharing information and collaboration among

  • quantitative scientists and
  • experimental researchers

who are interested in diverse facets of quantitative approaches in the study of biological systems.

Some approaches characterize the parts of an organism by precise direct measurement methods, including quantitative molecular and cellular biology, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, quantitative microscopy, and single cell measurements, often using high-throughput approaches.

Other approaches measure or infer interactions within or among organisms through methods drawn from network mapping, microbial ecology, or population genetics.
Finally, mathematical modeling provides a rigorous framework to integrate experimental measures and interactions among parts using mechanistic or probabilistic models.  Approaches here include machine learning, mechanistic computer simulations, and optimization. The goal of such models is to link experimental results to testable predictions on functional states or capabilities of an organism. This provides insights into how organisms grow and respond to their environments, and ultimately how they adapt or change across ecological and evolutionary time scales.

How does QuantBio relate to SysBio?

There is obviously much overlap between quantiative biology in general and systems biology in particular. One way of looking at this might be this:

Quantitative Biology: Any research that contributes towards quantifying biology.
  • Systems Biology: Same as QuantBio, but with an additional special focus on a more thorough quantification of the study system as a whole and how the various parts contribute.

These definitions make QuantBio broader and SysBio a special part of QuantBio that focuses on integrating various quantiative aspects into a bigger picture of the system. Obviously, these lines are very blurry, so mostly it is the preferences of individual researchers who define what they do.


What do we do?

Mostly, we are working on our own research, collaborate with colleagues, mentor students, teach, and more. 

Some of us organize the Systems Biology Seminar and run this website.

We are developing an overview of who is doing research in quantitative biology at UW-Madison.

We are thinking of ways of how to encourage ground breaking interdisciplinary research.

If you want to help us, for example by contributing to this website, let us know.
Our contact details can be found at our WID webpage.