Saturday, October 28, 2006

Classic papers in quantitative biology

The hot trend in biology education right now is to train undergrads, grad students, and postdocs in not only biology, but also in enough math, computer science, and physics so that they can function successfully in the highly interdisciplinary research fields that are starting play a more important role in current research. Most major research universities are spending serious time and money thinking about how to help physicists and computer scientists become competent in biology, and biologists become competent in the relevant physics and computer science. We have a program for this purpose here at Washington University.

Biologists at Princeton have been experimenting with a variety of educational approaches, and in this month's issue of Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology has an essay about one course at Princeton that focuses on what I'd call 'classic papers in quantitative biolgy.' They put their grad students in a room - physicists, biologists, etc., all interested in biological problems, and have them discuss papers that contain not only great biology, but great examples of quantitative work as well.

Anyway, in this essay, there is a list of 12 of the best papers used in the course. If you're interested at all in genomics or what's being called systems biology, I highly recommend checking out this essay and the list of papers. Unfortunately you need some sort of university library access for most of them, but they're worth the effort to get them.

1 comment:

HA said...

It is always difficult to say which paper is good enough from the recent publications. Only an expert working on that topic can tell (not even the author).