Systems Medicine

Course title

O2 for personalized systems medicine: from inspiration to aspiration


2015 January (28) 29-30, (Wed) Thu-Fri.
Previous courses were held in 2012, 2013, 2014.


Room C648
Science Building (Gebouw WN – Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen), VU University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1085, 1081HV Amsterdam


This course will provide an overview of recent progress in the field of personalised systems medicine, and will provide an understanding of its future potential. It will engage participants in in silico hands-on practice.


Hans Westerhoff (UvA, VU, University of Manchester)
Barbara Bakker (UMCG/RUG)


Hans Aerts (UL), Ilja Arts (UM), Matteo Barberis (UvA), Jurgen Haanstra (VU), Jaap Heringa (VU), Thierry Mondeel (UvA), Gerard Muyzer (UvA), Marijana Radonjic (EdgeLeap), Gaston Remmers (HABITS/Inspire2Liv), Jaap Seidell (VU), Jacky Snoep (University of Stellenbosch), Kathrin Thedieck (UMCG/RUG), Renée van Amerongen (UvA), Piet Hein van der Graaf (UL), Karen van Eunen (UMCG/RUG), Ben van Ommen (TNO), Pernette Verschure (UvA), Lodewyk Wessels (NKI), Hans Westerhoff (UvA, VU, University of Manchester).


The most recent version of the programme can be found at
On Wednesday (2015-01-28) a pre-course is held in room M212 (n.b. another room than for the two-day course) to give an introduction to systems medicine course on the subsequent two days. The following two papers will be discussed:
Paper 1: Cancer – a systems biology disease
Paper 2: Recon 2

Study load

The study load of this course is 1.5 ECTS.
Participants will get a certificate after attending this two day course and submitting a report.
Course participants (who so desire) should submit a 5-page course report to with ‘course report’ in the subject line. Such a course report will discuss 4 lectures (one from each morning and afternoon) and 2 scientific papers in the context of the evening brain hurricane.  The report will be assessed by Barbara Bakker and Hans Westerhoff.  A certificate for the equivalent of 1.5 ECTS will be emailed back.


Human individuals are all a wee bit different, yet very much the same. We may all succumb to heart disease, arthritis or cancer, but there is no certainty for any one of us; just probabilities. The probability that a medicine applied to a diseased individual works, is 30%. Einstein contended that probabilities only exist by virtue of ignorance. Systems biology has the potential to reduce this ignorance. A recent example is provided by the genome–wide human metabolic network, which has been reconstructed by systems biology on the basis of a thorough bioinformatics-aided integration of experimental data. By inserting an individual’s genome sequence plus lifestyle data and by calibrating it with functional genomics and physiological data, differences between individuals become understood. ‘Next generation systems biologists’ may soon create an individualised medicine with a 50% hit rate for each therapy and with actual cures for some of our multifactorial diseases. The course reviews recent progress and future potential in this endeavor, with some in silico hands-on practicing.

Target audience

This course is for PhD students, postdocs and staff from academia and industry, aspiring to becoming ‘next generation systems biologists’.


A maximum of 30 participants will be admitted.
In case the number of applications outnumbers the number of seats, we will select participants based on motivation and project relevance
To that end please fill complete the following fields in the enrollment form: (a) motivation and experience and (b) current research project.


A description for travelling by public transport or by car is given in the route description document. Sketch maps and information on how to buy pubic transport tickets are included.


For those participants that need hotel accommodation, we suggest the following hotels that are located in the vicinity of the VU University campus:
– Memphis Hotel Amsterdam:
– QBIC Hotel:

Course fee

€ 50 for PhD students
€ 75 for postdocs
€ 100 for researchers at universities or non-profit research institutes
€ 250 for researchers working in for-profit organisations (industry)
These course fees are excluding VAT