Top image

9th EMBL/EMBO Joint Conference 2008

Marvin Cassman, Former director of QB3, USA


Marvin Cassman


Marvin Cassman received his bachelor's and master degrees from the University of Chicago and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley, Marvin Cassman joined the UC Santa Barbara faculty, leaving in 1975 to join the NIH.

Dr. Cassman was the Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the NIH from 1994-2002. From 2002-2004 he was the Director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3). He is currently a consultant.


Integrative approaches to biology in the 21st century

In the past 8-10 years systems biology has progressed from a fad to something resembling a discipline, even if it is not quite there. The fad part is easy to see. Many new programs and centers have been established calling themselves systems biology - and some of them actually are. Turning it into a discipline, however, requires more than a label. The essence of systems biology, and in distinction from systematic biology, is a ocus on networks, computational modeling, and dynamics. In order to permit progress in such an area a set of conceptual and material capabilities ("infrastructure") must be put in place, together with research training programs that have a significant emphasis in mathematics.