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Genome Based Systems Biology

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Career fields include biotechnology, medical and pharmacological research, energy and agriculture, healthcare, bioinformatics, and many more!

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June 19, 2024, 3.00 p.m. (via Zoom)

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Owing to its interdisciplinary tradition Bielefeld University offers an outstanding infrastructure for a successful Master's degree in Genome-Based Systems Biology. This course gives access to a new interdisciplinary research field, systems biology, where molecular life science and modern physico-chemical techniques and mathematic-bioinformatic methods synergize.

What is Systems Biology?

Systems biology comprises a lot of disciplines. In this field biology joins forces with e.g. bioinformatics, mathematics and physics. The common target is to understand the functionality of cells, organs or even complete organisms.

With a Master's degree in "Genome Based Systems Biology" you can e.g. work on biotechnological projects, study diseases or investigate alternative forms of energy. You are well prepared for a career as well in science as in economy.

Since the Master's program is very research-oriented, students are intensively supervised in small groups. This also facilitates mutual exchange and provides students with sufficient time to deal with modern instruments and data analysis.

This interdisciplinary Master's course follows the tradition of Bielefeld University - communication and cooperation are therefore deeply embedded.

One aim of systems biology is to establish computer-based models of processes in the living cell allowing to predict the performance of metabolic pathways, cells, organs or whole organisms under certain conditions. This is of major interest for biology, biotechnology and bio-medicine.

Modern biosciences are characterized by accumulation of massive and complex data, which are results of the increasing use of high-throughput methods in the fields of modern -omics technologies, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. In genomics gene sequences are identified and annotated to reconstruct metabolic pathways. In transcriptomics functional genes are analyzed to unravel regulatory processes. Subsequently, proteomics helps to identify the respective cellular and extracellular proteins. Finally, metabolomics allows the determination of the majority of metabolites in a cell. Systems biology comprises these methods in order to model the interaction of genes, transcripts, proteins and metabolites in a cell.

The Master's program Genome-Based Systems Biology (120 credits) leads to a Master of Science degree. It is built upon the Bachelor's degree and deepens the knowledge to sharpen the scientific profile.

Semester Genome Based Systems Biology
1 Functional Genome Research
Karsten Niehaus
Mathematical Methods*
Petra Lutter
Prokaryotic Cells
Volker Wendisch
2 Regulatory Networks
Bernd Weisshaar
Applied Bioinformatics*
Stefan Albaum
Eukaryotic Cells
Karl-Josef Dietz
3 Research Module I Research Module II Elective Module
4 Master's thesis

*These modules are splitted and taught in the 1st and 2nd semester.

In the first year knowledge in basic molecular methods and biological principles is intensified. Mathematical principles to build models of biological processes are acquired in a comprehensible manner.

The second year covers the scientific profiling along the individual interests. This can comprise the practical use of modern instruments and methods in the lab as well as the development of new bioinformatics tools to analyze data. The work is focused on the analysis of data derived from high-throughput biology and biotechnology, respectively.

Also interns (e.g. as part of the ERASMUS+ program of the EU) are supported.

Completing a doctorate is particularly relevant for students who are interested in pursuing an academic career after completing their master's. A doctorate should advance academic knowledge and consists of an independent research project (the dissertation) plus an oral defence (colloquium). The faculty of biology offers excellent conditions. Almost all graduates of the Master's program Genome-Based Systems Biology decided to continue with a dissertation and were above-average successful in the application process.

Further Information:

Besides continuing in an academic environment by a subsequent promotion followed by career prospects thereof, opportunities for graduates of the Master's program Genome Based Systems Biology can be found in research institutes particularly in molecular and biomedical-oriented analysis and diagnosis, as well as in pharmaceutical and life science companies. This can include research and development laboratory work as well as theoretical computer work. Also patent agencies, information departments and clinics are potential employers. Students get information on career options already during the master courses.

All courses and lectures are given either in German or in English. Therefore German as well as English language skills are prerequisite.

For further information about the application to the Master's program please use the following links:


Quick Checklist:

  • Bachelor's Degree/Transcript of Records (incl. average grade)
  • Language Degree(s): German/English
  • "Studierfähigkeitstest" (File with your answers)


  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Summary/Status Quo Bachelor's Thesis
  • Additional Information

Insight into Studies

Master's theses

  • Etablierung einer MYB28-Knockout Mutante in Brassica napus unter Anwendung des CRISPR/Cas9 Systems
  • Untersuchungen an pflanzlichen R2R3-MYB Transkriptionsfaktoren zur Identifizierung funktionaler Domänen
  • Vorkommen potentiell humanpathogener Keime auf Handgriffen von Einkaufswagen
  • Etablierung eines multimodalen Untersuchungsverfahrens für biomedizinische Präparate
  • Biophysical characteristics of the polymorphic protein Pgr and its expression pattern in Dichelobacter nodosus, a causal agent of ovine foot disease
  • Bildgebende Analyse von humanen Carotiden: Massenspektrometrische, optische und histochemische Untersuchungen an arteriosklerotischen Plaques
  • Prediction of transcription factor binding sites based on network data
  • Network analysis in monocots
  • Feasibility of CAM engineering in C3 plants
  • The microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for sustainable nicotinamide coenzyme regeneration in biocatalysis
  • A mathematical model of the metabolism of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii : Photosynthesis and hydrogen production via MATLAB and CellNetAnalyzer
  • In vivo study of calcium signalling via two-wavelength microscopy and luminescence measurements in tobacco cells
  • Untersuchung und mathematische Modellierung zum Refraktärverhalten des Kalzium-Signals als Immunantwort von Nicotiana tabacum auf pathogenen Befall
  • A closer look at reactions in the Miller-Urey-Experiment using coupled Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Modeling of Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris B100
  • Experimentelle und theoretische Analyse zur Phosphorylierung der Phosphoglukomutase XanA in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris
  • Isobutanol production in Escherichia coli: Laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling with MATLAB

Saskia Janshoff

35 CAM and non-CAM plant transcriptomes were collected. Enzyme orthogroups were detected and conservative positions identified. The detected changes may lead to changes in activity and/or regulation of the enzymes. Candidate enzymes were cloned and transferred to the C3 plant Arabidopsis in a synthetic biology approach.

Sarah Becker

In this thesis, DNA-binding of important photosynthesis regulators from Arabidopsis thaliana was examined. Different in vitro expression systems, binding buffers, protein tags and protein purification were tested for binding assays. In a parallel computational project, for 27 A. thaliana transcription factors (TFs) it was shown that DNA methylation and chromatin state make only a small contribution to gene expression prediction from binding data and that binding affinity does not correlate with expression. The data points to combined action of TFs and TF-signalling cascades as the main contributors to regulation of gene expression.

Bernd Reger

Pavlos Bekiaris

The program suite Metabolome Manual Annotation Suite (MMAS) is created and applied for in silico analyses of Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris B100 (Xcc B100). It consists of four programs which provide a semi-automated and self-documenting way of generating metabolic models and manually curating the data on which they are based on. Having established a metabolic network for Xcc B100, meta-analyses show new ways to optimize Xcc B100's xanthan production.

Viktoria Fuchs

Luminometric measurements of calcium reactions provided new insights considering the refractory behavior in tobacco cells. With initial elicitor concentrations being sufficiently reduced, a calcium response can be provoked even after multiple preceding elicitations. A process pipeline for fluorescence microscopic acquisition and quantification of the specific calcium signature using the software Image J was established.

Lea Süßmilch

In experimental runs with a mixed methane and nitrogen atmosphere all intermediates of the sugar producing formose reaction can be found. Results showed that the production of sugars even benefited from the presence of nitrogen when compared to the original Miller-Urey gas mixture. Additionally, the selective catalysis properties of montmorillonite clay are assessed by comparing the ratios of the reaction products of runs with and without clay.



Special Events

Every year students in genome based systems biology are awarded prizes for their outstanding performance:

2020: Marian Rosenstengel
2019: Katharina Frey

2020: Donat Wulf
2019: Katharina Schiller


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