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"A millennial challenge in biology is to decipher how vast arrays of molecular interactions inside the cell work in concert to produce a cellular function. Systems biology, a new interdisciplinary field of science, brings together biologists and physicists to tackle this grand challenge through quantitative experiments and models. In this course, we will discuss the unifying principles that all organisms use to perform cellular functions. We will also discuss key challenges faced by a cell in both single and multi-cellular organisms. Finally, we will discuss how researchers in the field of synthetic biology are using the new knowledge gained from studying naturally-occurring biological systems to create artificial gene networks capable of performing new functions."