Modern biology is an interdisciplinary endeavour and the CCBI was established to help bring together the unique strengths of Cambridge in medicine, biology, mathematics, computer science, physics and engineering. Its aim is to promote excellence in research and teaching and to provide a focus in the Cambridge region for computational biology interpreted broadly.
We are living in a very exciting time for biology: whole-genome sequencing has opened up the field of genome scale biology and with this a trend to larger-scale experiments, whether based on DNA sequencing or other technologies. However it is also a time of great opportunity for small-scale biology as there is a new wealth of data to build from: one can turn to a computer to ask questions that previously might have taken months to answer in the laboratory. One of the great challenges for the field is analysing the large amounts of complex data generated, and synthesising them into useful systems-wide models of biological processes. Whether operating on a large or small scale the use of mathematical and computational methods is becoming an integral part of biological research.
There remains a world-wide shortage of skilled computational biologists. An important part of the CCBI is an MPhil course for graduates at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. The 11-month course introduces students to bioinformatics and other quantitative aspects of modern biology and medicine. It is intended both for those whose first degree is in biology, and especially for mathematicians, computer scientists and others wishing to learn about the subject in preparation for a PhD course or a career in industry.
Complementing the MPhil course is the Wellcome Trust PhD programme in Mathematical Genomics and Medicine. Run jointly with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute this programme provides opportunities for collaborative research across the Cambridge region at the exciting interfaces between mathematics, genomics and medicine.
The CCBI is supported by the four science schools of the University:
The School of the Biological Sciences
The School of Clinical Medicine
The School of the Physical Sciences
The School of Technology
Space is kindly provided by the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, within the Centre for Mathematical Sciences.