The Systems Biology Institute (SBI) is a non-profit private research institution established in 2000 with the aim of promoting systems biology research and its application to medicine and global sustainability. SBI focuses on rapid translation of basic research to practical outcomes for both business and clinical applications.
Systems biology is an academic discipline that aims at system-level understanding of biological systems. Desire to understand living organisms as systems is not new. It can be traced back over a half century when Norbert Weiner pursued Cybernetics and Walter Canon proposed a concept of homeostasis. However, most discussions at that time have been phenomenological as molecular biology was only about to emerge. With breathtaking progress of molecular biology, computer science, control theory, precision manufacturing and measurement technologies, it is now feasible to challenge in-depth understanding of living organisms at system-level while grounding firmly to the molecular basis.
It is our recognition that systems biology triggers a revolution in biology in an immediate future and it will eventually impacts medical practices. Thus, promoting this field of study is critical for expanding human knowledge of living organisms and for world health. At the same time, systems biology embraces enormous potential to provide essential solution to global sustainability problem by providing means to generate renewable energy through biological processes and by providing insights for better preservation and restoration of endangered ecological systems.
SBI has been engaged in a series of research program largely funded by branches of Japanese government, including Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), by private foundation such as the Canon Foundation and international funding from Luxembourg. SBI has extensive private contracts for industrial applications of systems biology research in drug discovery and other areas, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). SBI have also worked on a series of projects funded by New Energy Development Organization (NEDO), Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science, and Technology (MEXT). SBI's nodes (currently Australia and Singapore) runs the projects with the grants such as A*Star.