Center for Systems and Computational Biology

Applying advanced computational and technological systems to the understanding of human disease.

The Center for Systems and Computational Biology (CSCB) is an interdisciplinary unit that bridges the Institute's research programs, provides space and resources to encourage scientific interactions, and allows for more efficient use of centralized computational and other advanced technological platforms. The Center supports the development of new tools for integrating and analyzing data from genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, molecular modeling, and high-throughput screening, chemical biology, structural biology, and imaging, all of which involve large complex datasets that can challenge limits of available software tools and require high capacity, reliable data storage.

As part of its mission to support biomedical research at The Wistar Institute, the CSCB provides comprehensive services to assist with every aspect of scientific computing. The CSCB offers consultations for scientific computing and data management, primarily through the Bioinformatics Core Facility.

Members of the CSCB also collaborate on a variety of projects related to detecting, understanding and treating cancer, other diseases and clinical disorders, as well as projects on infectious disease and the development of new and more effective vaccines.

Systems Biology

Systems biology is an approach to biomedical research in which scientists combine complex “omics” datasets to develop a more complete understanding of complex biological systems, such as the regulation of whole genome-level transcription, regulation of the 3D genome, the role of signaling and metabolic pathways in disease, and more. Systems biology uses a variety of omics tools including genomics, bioinformatics, metabolomics and proteomics to understand biology at a high level of complexity, such as how mutation or loss of a single gene affects cells, tissues and even the entire organism.

Computational Biology

Computational biology is a critical component of systems biology and in many areas new and improved algorithms are being developed or optimized.  These efforts involve use of computer science, mathematics, and statistics to process and interpret large complex data sets. It provides scientists with the tools to deconstruct these data sets and provide a better understanding of the complexity of normal biological processes and how disruption of those processes leads to a wide range of diseases.


Please contact the Center Help Desk with any questions regarding scientific computing, data storage, or problems with computers attached to scientific instruments. Send an email to with your questions and someone will respond to your request as soon as possible.

For more information on The Wistar Institute for Systems and Computational Biology, please contact:

Office: 215-898-3972
Fax: 215-898-0664

Leadership and Members


David W. Speicher, Ph.D.

Caspar Wistar Professor in Computational and Systems Biology

Professor and Program Co-leader, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program

Director, The Wistar Institute Center for Systems and Computational Biology
Scientific Director, Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility 

Louise C. Showe, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program
Scientific Director, Genomics Facility
Scientific Director, Bioinformatics Facility
Associate Director, Center for Systems and Computational Biology


Ken-ichi Noma, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Gene Expression and Regulation Program

Qin Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program 

Emmanuel Skodalakes, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Gene Expression and Regulation Program

Zach Shug, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program