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

281 ratings
46 reviews

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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26 - 46 of 46 Reviews for Experimental Methods in Systems Biology

By Mrinal V

Oct 22, 2016

Loved it! :D

By Camila A F P

Jan 28, 2019


By Liam B

Mar 23, 2021

The content in this course, namely the lectures from Professor Birtwistle and the recommended readings, are excellent. However, I think the assessments need some reconfiguring or at least better support for discussion forums/advice on how to approach them. Some quizzes contain very vague questions, typos, and overloads of information. I often found myself just trying to figure out what the question was truly asking. I do like the essay approach as it integrates knowledge well and makes for a challenging exam. It has been noted by several students in the discussion forums that Quiz 1 in particular has some questions that seem to have no correct answer (I spent time going through the permutations myself just out of interest). Overall, this course was a great overview of experimental techniques in systems biology for those willing to invest themselves in the literature in particular, but the assessment structure and implementation was lacking at times.

By 李俊宏

Dec 6, 2017

The course is mainly focused on description of the technologies used in system biology. Mechanisms of these experiments may not be very clear which makes this course seems like an introduction to the experiments. Also the quizzes are too long with enormous words, sometimes it's like a game of finding differences. I hope the quizzes be more focused on principals and calculation, which will make it more clearer.

Finally, the teacher and all staff have made a lot of efforts to build this nice course! Thank you so much!

By Mai L

Sep 30, 2017

The course provides up to date understanding of new technologies. The examples are carefully analyzed and explained. The course is very helpful for those who want to follow lab-based research. However, learners must be aware that the amount of knowledge you take in for each lesson is very large, you might need to watch the lesson over and over again to actually understand deeply.

By Nguyen P K

Aug 26, 2020

Very nice and thorough course. Information is explained clearly in lectures but some parts like data analysis may require a longer period to understand and process for people without sufficient background. Lab-based ones are helpful. Quizzes and exams are pretty challenging. I found the case studies in exams really practical and interesting!

By Pablo L

Nov 21, 2018

Really good course, even though the test were so unfair with the multiple choice questions. Why not to give any simple 0.2 or 0.25 if you get one answer out of 5? Why do I have to select all ofthem correctly if not I do not receive any point? Very unfair, 4 stars because of this. the rest of it is perfect even with lab based videos.

By Mohamad K K

Mar 4, 2016

very good introduction but as i go through the videos and then do the quiz i feel like the material doesn't highlight exactly what is needed for the quiz. Maybe i'm not taking the video lecture as seriously as i should. Something else to reinforce the material cause it seems a bit condensed.

thanks for a wonderful course!

By Erick C O

Feb 7, 2016

On the bright side, "Lab based" videos are excellent for visualize the techniques. Nevertheless "Choose all that apply" questions in the quizzes are very ambiguous, these questions should contain an explanation for prevent confusion at the end of every unit.

By Georgy I

Feb 21, 2016

Thanks for overview of experimental methods and references to relevant articles!

"Complete the essay" quizzes looks like a joke

By Samuel B

Mar 6, 2016

the lab was fasinating . i never seen those big machin in my life. THANKS!!!

By Chinaza N

Jun 5, 2020

The audio quality for the laboratory sessions was somewhat poor.


Mar 2, 2016

HighTech!! Quite difficult for someone who not from the field .

By mohammad a m

Jul 17, 2020

I learned very cool and interesting things!

By Hazem H

Feb 7, 2016

it's interesting but it's quite difficult

By Seema P

Oct 2, 2018

Way to go..enjoyed learning


Jun 11, 2022

Very uusefu

By Weidong X

Dec 3, 2016


By Pooja P

Aug 15, 2016

The course was very interesting. It touched upon all currently employed techniques in good detail. The lab-based videos were the most interesting. However, the lectures were too long. It would be a brilliant course if the lectures were cut short and made to the point.

By Rohaina T

Sep 29, 2016

The questions based on the lectures are quite different and confusing

By Alison P

Apr 16, 2018

quiz 5 from week 6 does not work.