The ZBSA is the first research center in Germany to combine, in one institute, systems biological data acquisition in the research fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, life imaging and modeling. The research facilities’ building was built by the federal state of Baden-Würtemberg as a component of the competitive tender “Centers of Life Sciences”, at the University of Freiburg. The research center, with an area of more than 3000 m2, is part of the University campus and is in the immediate neighborhood of the Faculty of Biology, the botanical garden and the skin clinic. The four Core Facilities of Genomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics, and the Life Imaging Center constantly reside at the ZBSA. They are completed by the modeling engineers, consisting of mathematicians, physicians, and computer engineers. Beside these permanent institutions, the life science faculties have various project groups that reside at the ZBSA. Under fiscal criteria, the ZBSA is a nonprofit organization for the establishment of systems biology as a new area of research at the University of Freiburg.
The ZBSA is organized into three main areas:
- The fundamental goal is data analysis and the resulting engineering models. Bioinformaticians provide the information technology for data acquisition, relational databases, correlations with external genom-, proteome- and other biological databases. They support the primary data acquisition, enable automatic annotations, work out relationships between structures and functions, generate nuclein- and amino acid alignments and develop phylogenic correlations with state-of-the-art methods of bioinformatics. Mathematicians and computer scientists analyze the acquired data for model engineering and develop formal languages to describe complex biological systems.
- The data analysts and modeling engineers are supplied with primary data, which is acquired through close collaboration with the four Core Facilities: Genomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics and the Life Imaging Center. The standards for data that is used for systems biological modeling are more stringent than compared to conventional biological and medical research. In contrast to conventional research where only a few parameters are measured simultaneously, outstanding temporal and spatial resolution of complex sets of primary data is a requirement for systems biological modeling. The four Core Facilities provide these analytical requirements.
- With their various fields of research, the project groups , , and Regulatory Networks provide the innovative input for basic research at the ZBSA.
Concept of the scientific Organisation at the ZBSA