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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Experimental Methods in Systems Biology by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

293 ratings

About the Course

Learn about the technologies underlying experimentation used in systems biology, with particular focus on RNA sequencing, mass spec-based proteomics, flow/mass cytometry and live-cell imaging. A key driver of the systems biology field is the technology allowing us to delve deeper and wider into how cells respond to experimental perturbations. This in turns allows us to build more detailed quantitative models of cellular function, which can give important insight into applications ranging from biotechnology to human disease. This course gives a broad overview of a variety of current experimental techniques used in modern systems biology, with focus on obtaining the quantitative data needed for computational modeling purposes in downstream analyses. We dive deeply into four technologies in particular, mRNA sequencing, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, flow/mass cytometry, and live-cell imaging. These techniques are often used in systems biology and range from genome-wide coverage to single molecule coverage, millions of cells to single cells, and single time points to frequently sampled time courses. We present not only the theoretical background upon which these technologies work, but also enter real wet lab environments to provide instruction on how these techniques are performed in practice, and how resultant data are analyzed for quality and content....

Top reviews


Nov 29, 2020

Amazing course, only the final exam was rather an excercise in finding out out where the answers differ than trying to really understand what should be the ringht answer. I learnt a lot, thank you!


Jun 20, 2021

The lab videos are great, thanks for teaching us. Not all university can afford those machines. If you have latest methods or anything please introduce more courses.

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1 - 25 of 50 Reviews for Experimental Methods in Systems Biology

By Paul G

Mar 31, 2020

Whilst a significant improvement on the dreadful first course in the specialisation, I found this course frustrating and poor in several key areas. Firstly, I am a Biomedical Informatician with several years hands-on experience and am looking to build up my skills in Systems Biology, and I hoped this specialisation would help with that. Based on the first two courses, it doesn't - at all.

Firstly, whilst the lecture videos are much better than in the first course, it really adds little to investigate lab procedures in such detail. An overview of how they work and a focus *on the data produced* and to how that are relevant to models based upon differential equations would have been excellent: this only happens in the final week! The instructor has never posted once in the discussion forums since the course began and there are issues reported with the quizzes which appear to not have been rectified - so the quality control is poor and I found for me personally, much of the material was irrelevant to my aims and objectives in taking the course.

Coursera really have missed an opportunity with this specialisation: the MIT Synthetic Biology course offered by edX is excellent, even though it requires a very high degree of background knowledge it doesn't shy away from the materials (it required too much Molecular Biology for me though it's an excellent course). "Experimental Methods in Systems Biology" *could* have been excellent - IF the material of the final week of lectures had been the majority of the coure. Very disappointing and, honestly, a waste of money in my honest opinion.

By Esteban C

May 8, 2020

Un excelente curso que da un panorama muy útil de las herramientas comúnmente empleadas para experimentos enfocados a la biología de sistemas

By Sheetal J

Sep 22, 2019

Loved this course. Prof. Birtwistle is really into teaching and liked the way he has organized this course. Thanks!

By Felix E R P

Jun 3, 2016

Excellent course with a wealth of information about system biology technologies

By Eduardo R M

Dec 4, 2015

Great course,

Recommended if you are interest in new technologies

By Guolong M

Jan 3, 2021

3stars for the lab video, -1 for quizzes, -1 for the long lectures

This course has the best lab videos to offer. I have real experience for most of these techniques so I should be qualified to say that the course is extremely helpful to those who will touch on these stuffs. The concepts and the principles of techniques are covered comprehensively but could have been more concise; the lectures are generally too long. The major downside, as others have pointed out, is that the quizzes are not well-organized. There are too many confusing multiple choice problems; the tester clearly did not know the choice should be independent. I've passed this course with 100% grades (with a lot of attempts and trying) Some answers are clearly incorrect if you lookup the literature; the tester should consider some techniques would be improved overtime and therefore some limitation will be lifted, but this course will stay on coursera forever). Furthermore, some problems are not covered or not emphasized in the lectures.

By Himanshu G

Feb 21, 2019

A good course for someone interested to work in the field of systems biology, and thanks to Icahn School of Medicine and Coursera for the same.

But the course could have been a bit more comprehensive with respect to cellular experiments and include coverage of experiments done outside the Mount Sinai lab as well, especially 'non-omic' experiments such as cell growth and viability assays or KD , KO or Over-Expression studies that can be really useful for building network models.

By Joyce C M A

May 12, 2019

This course is definitely not for beginners and students must have previous lab experience (in my opinion). It is a great course to get your feet wet in new techniques that you have not performed yet.

By Harshit K S

May 4, 2020

A really nice course which I believe served its purpose. Maybe a pdf version of experimental protocols followed in the lab videos can be added in the reading section of the lab-based video or in optional reading. This will help students who are interested in knowing the specific protocols for the technique.

By Adam H

Nov 29, 2020

Amazing course, only the final exam was rather an excercise in finding out out where the answers differ than trying to really understand what should be the ringht answer. I learnt a lot, thank you!

By julio c r m

Aug 7, 2016

This a great course it helps a lot to get to know state of the art techniques and how to use them properly although the assigment questions of selecting the statements are quite confusing.

By Yuridia M

Jun 8, 2020

Excelente curso, en lo personal me dio más perspectivas para el trabajo con sistemas biológicos. Me gustaría que se profundizara más sobre el tema de redes metabólicas y análisis de datos.

By Mimi D

Jun 21, 2021

The lab videos are great, thanks for teaching us. Not all university can afford those machines. If you have latest methods or anything please introduce more courses.

By Luna Z

Jan 9, 2021

Very difficult, would help if instructor provides answer key or monitors the chat a bit more

By Mark E S

Sep 30, 2020

Awesome delivery and exam questions are very practical....I enjoyed the 8weeks here

By Dr S M

Aug 6, 2022

Gained meaningful insights into a new field of Systems Biology with this course.

By Vitória S B

Jul 10, 2020

I relly enjoy and learn so much with that course! I recommend :)

By Cristina B

May 24, 2020

excellent overview of experimental methods in systems biology

By Jiho C

Mar 9, 2017

Good lecture to know experimental method in lab


Jun 5, 2022

It was quite knowledgeble

By Boudalia M E A

Jan 15, 2016



By Yingchao M

Apr 20, 2020

A very good course.

By mac g

Jan 24, 2018

it was so useful

By Dominika B

Sep 28, 2016

Very useful. :)

By farzaneh d d

Sep 6, 2016

its very good.