MIT 8.591J Systems Biology, Fall 2014

Introduction to cellular and population-level systems biology with an emphasis on synthetic biology, modeling of genetic networks, cell-cell interactions, and evolutionary dynamics. Created by MIT OpenCourseWare .

Average Course Length

40 hours

Skill Level


Pick a lesson

1: Introduction to the class and overview of topics
2: Input function, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, and cooperativity
3: Autoregulation, feedback and bistability
4: Synthetic biology and stability analysis in the toggle switch
5: Oscillatory genetic networks
6: Graph properties of transcription networks
7: Feed-forward loop network motif
8: Introduction to stochastic gene expression
9: Causes and consequences of stochastic gene expression
10: Stochastic modeling
11: Life at low Reynold’s number
12: Robustness and bacterial chemotaxis
13: Robustness in development and pattern formation
14: Microbial evolution experiments and optimal gene circuit design
15: Evolution in finite populations
16: Clonal interference and the distribution of beneficial mutations
17: Fitness landscapes and sequence spaces
18: Evolutionary games
19: Survival in fluctuating environments
20: Parasites, the evolution of virulence and sex
21: Interspecies interactions
22: Ecosystem stability, critical transitions, and biodiversity
23: Dynamics of populations in space
24: The neutral theory of ecology