TBT4165 - System Biology and Biological Networks


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
work 50/100 D
Written examination 50/100 3 hours D

Course content

This class will give an introduction to systems biology methods in modeling and analysis of cellular networks, with strong relevance to synthetic biology and the iGEM competition. This course has a special emphasis on (1) biological interaction networks, and (2) genome-level cellular metabolism. Students will learn through lectures and homework, and gain hands-on experience using current software in a PC-based lab setting. An interdisciplinary presentation of the topics will be emphasized, making the class accessible to students with a background in computer science, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Learning outcome

At the completion of this course, the students are expected to be able to:
- Explain basic concepts, models, and statistical measures to characterize the properties of general networks, as well as using the software tool Cytoscape to analyze empirical networks.
-Explain basic concepts, principles and methods of metabolic engineering.
- Explain the organization and construction process of genome-scale metabolic networks, explain the principles behind constraint-based analysis (especially Flux Balance Analysis), as well as being proficient in the use of the COBRA toolbox in MatLab for the numerical analysis of empirical models.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, homework and exercises (PC-lab). Lectures will be given in English.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises
  • Computer lab

Further on evaluation

Portfolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portfolio includes a final written exam (50%) and works (50%). The results for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portfolio is assigned a letter grade. If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral. In cases of rescheduled examination, there will be an exam of the whole portfolio.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

Basic programming in python, equivalent to TDT4110: Introduction to Information Technology.

Course materials

B.O.Palsson "Systems Biology: Constraint-based Reconstruction and Analysis" 2nd edition (2015).
A.-L. Barabási "Network Science" (2016).

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

No.of lecture hours: 4
Lab hours: 2
No.of specialization hours: 6

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Biophysics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biotechnology and Food Science



Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Spring ORD work 50/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 50/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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