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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Systems Biology by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

344 ratings
67 reviews

About the Course

This course will introduce the student to contemporary Systems Biology focused on mammalian cells, their constituents and their functions. Biology is moving from molecular to modular. As our knowledge of our genome and gene expression deepens and we develop lists of molecules (proteins, lipids, ions) involved in cellular processes, we need to understand how these molecules interact with each other to form modules that act as discrete functional systems. These systems underlie core subcellular processes such as signal transduction, transcription, motility and electrical excitability. In turn these processes come together to exhibit cellular behaviors such as secretion, proliferation and action potentials. What are the properties of such subcellular and cellular systems? What are the mechanisms by which emergent behaviors of systems arise? What types of experiments inform systems-level thinking? Why do we need computation and simulations to understand these systems? The course will develop multiple lines of reasoning to answer the questions listed above. Two major reasoning threads are: the design, execution and interpretation of multivariable experiments that produce large data sets; quantitative reasoning, models and simulations. Examples will be discussed to demonstrate “how” cell- level functions arise and “why” mechanistic knowledge allows us to predict cellular behaviors leading to disease states and drug responses....

Top reviews


Feb 07, 2016

Very useful course in order to learn the basics in systems biology. You only need some training in biology to understand the concepts but the course is easy to follow and very complete.


Aug 08, 2019

Great foundational material and insights from Prof. Iyengar that supports the 'disruptive' trends underway at the intersection of Computational Biology and Medicine.

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51 - 65 of 65 Reviews for Introduction to Systems Biology

By Bruno A T P

Jan 20, 2016

With a biology background I had some difficulty following this course. That is understandable, as a lot of it relies in mathematical modelling and statistics. I still felt like some exam questions relied on material not yet lectured, which would sometimes leave me at a loss as to how I should have gotten to the right question in the first place. The lectures could have been structured differently, so as to facilitate engagement - I found myself easily losing focus and having to repeat the videos. Despite its shortcomings, the course is still a powerful introduction to Systems Biology.

By Hector F C M

Jul 02, 2019

I have to thank for this virtual course, however although this course is '' introduction '' it supposes that the participants have advanced concepts that are not explained, in many moments the literature is inconclusive, there is no literature that allows a basic revision on the topics that we are learning; The evlauacion is not according to what has been learned and in many cases it is based more on the memory than on the analysis.

By Karl D

Jul 26, 2017

Good overview of systems biology, but the graded tests are somewhat difficult to understand for someone without a biology background such as myself.

By Alan R d F K M

Jan 21, 2020

Could give more basic information about systems theory

By Milena J

Feb 12, 2016

The lectures were somehow chaotic.

By Mainak B

Feb 24, 2020

Tough and brain storming

By Karel B

Dec 16, 2015

The lecture quality should be dramatically improved. Even at 2x speed, I feel Iyengar should further practice is presentation and redo the videos. In the conclusion, Iyengar states that no textbooks are available for the field because it is "new", but an Amazon search shows several seem to exist, and many of the studies referenced in this course are years old, even more than a decade in some cases... so I think better materials for more organized slides must exist. I've taken more than 5 coursera classes, and this has been my least satisfying. ... I do appreciate the introduction this provided, for free, and plan to keep learning in this space, though not in this course sequence.

By Ghaleb M M

Jun 06, 2017

The lecturer is bad at communicating , The material is hard to understand , and he skims through the contents , The Quizzes are not related to the materials sometimes

Solution : No doubt that the lecturer is a distinguished person , but this kind of material should be taught by a young faculty member that can communicate much better with the students , the current lecturer can supervise the material and answer questions in the discussion boards

By Radu A

Apr 21, 2019

Tests do not reflect course information. Even if the title is "introduction" it asumes the user is familiar with a lot of topics. It is probably good for people that just need a reminder of something that they studied previousely.

They teach basic theory and then require the student to know much more on exams. Maybe this course should be done last in the specialization. (I'm hoping the others are better)

By Circe M

Aug 12, 2017

Course material was not presented in a matter that flowed naturally. Completing the course didn't lend greatly to my overall understanding in the area though I understand certain aspects very well.

By Alexandro G A S

Aug 09, 2016

It is a good introductory course, but it relies too much on networks and could be confusing and demoralizing if you intend to pursue a career in systems biology.

By diego

Nov 06, 2019

The course is too specific and advanced. It´s not an introduction.

By Sergey K

Dec 19, 2015

Boring voice. A lot of overcomplicated terms, where you can describe your idea in a much more simple way. In result i feel that lector read this material not to teach people, but just to read it. Disgusting.

By Donna P

Mar 12, 2016

I could not understand instructor. Using subtitles didn't help either as many words came up unintelligible.

By Alexander

Oct 05, 2016

The material is very randomized, and the instructor presents it in an overly complex way.