Research institutes

Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology

Launched in 2015, the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) aims to develop a set of computational and mathematical models, applicable in science and clinic, that will advance our understanding of biological systems, and predict progression and treatment of complex diseases over time. 

Systems Biology

Technology is advancing fast. It gives us insights in the human body on both a large and miniscule scale. We can peek into the brain, without opening the skull. Our heartbeat can be measured using an app on our iPhone. The entire human genome is available as one large roadmap, and more and more knowledge about molecules in health and disease becomes available every day.

What if all of the available human data could be combined and deciphered by computers to create a “virtual physiological human”? Welcome to the world of Systems Biology.

MaCSBio is one of Maastricht University’s newest research centres. Driven by technology, MaCSBio aims to understand and predict the complex nature of biological systems. The centre is dedicated to achieve this goal by working in a highly integrated fashion:


MaCSBio is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceFaculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science and the Faculty of Science and Engineering. To achieve scientific breakthroughs that could not be achieved in individual labs, the centre brings together the expertise of physicians, biologists, mathematicians and computer scientists.

    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology
      1 day 21 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology

      Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology updated their cover photo.

      1 day 21 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology

      Don't forget: MaCSBio member Prof. Theo de Kok will give a lecture about personalised nutrition and disease prevention at the Pint of Science festival in Maastricht.

      The lecture will take place this evening from 19:00 to 22:30 at 'The Student Hotel'.

      More info:

      4 days 30 min ago


  • MaCSBio - Ilja Arts

    Ilja Arts appointed board member NWO Science Domain

    Thursday, April 25, 2019

    Prof. dr. Ilja Arts, scientific director of the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology was appointed as board member of NWO's Science Domain.

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  • Thomas Cleij appointed as new Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering

    Thursday, February 28, 2019

    The Executive Board of Maastricht University (UM) has appointed Prof. dr. Thomas Cleij as the new dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering.

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  • ralf peeters

    The art of doing maths

    Friday, August 24, 2018

    A portrait of Ralf Peeters, professor of Mathematics. Without him, the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, which offers one of UM’s most successful study programmes, would have been swallowed up by another faculty long ago. Not that he’d ever say as much himself. Read on for portrait of a bridge builder, a puzzler, an art lover and, above all, a scientist.

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  • Systems Biology Graduation 2018S

    Master Thesis Award for Systems Biology graduate

    Thursday, July 19, 2018

    At the graduation ceremony on 10 July, four graduates received their well-deserved diplomas for the master’s programme in Systems Biology. This was the second batch of Systems Biology graduates ever at Maastricht University.

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  • Systems Biology - Graduates

    First students graduated at UM in Systems Biology

    Friday, July 21, 2017

    Last week, the first graduation ceremony ever for the master’s programme Systems Biology took place. After two years of hard work, the first batch of students received their well-deserved master diplomas.

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  • Rubicon Grants

    MaCSBio involved in two research proposals granted by NWO Complexity

    Friday, July 7, 2017

    These questions will be answered in four consortia that have been awarded a NWO-Complexity grant. MaCSBio is involved in two of these consortia and will carry out research regarding complex systems in the field of health and nutrition.

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  • MaCSBio Science Day 2016

    Michelle Moerel 2nd Science Talent 2017

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    Michelle Moerel, assistant professor and researcher at the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio), has reached a second place in the 2017 New Scientist Science Talent contest. 

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  • MaCSBio - Science Day

    MaCSBio Science Day 2017: a big success!

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    The second MaCSBio Science Day was organized on 9 June 2017 at Maastricht University. This time the theme of the Science Day was: Extending Networks and was focused on fostering and expanding MaCSBio’s networks at Maastricht University and beyond.

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  • Michelle Moerel

    Michelle Moerel nominated for New Scientist Science Talent 2017

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    Maastricht University is proud of the nomination of Dr. Michelle Moerel, assistant professor and researcher at the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio), for New Scientist Talent 2017. 

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  • brain umc+

    Research group headed by Elia Formisano reveals the human brain computations underlying real-life listening

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    New study published in this week’s issue of PNAS reveals the human brain computations underlying real-life listening.

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  • Embryonic Stem Cell

    Interdisciplinary team with Gökhan Ertaylan of MaCSBio publishes paper in PLOS Genetics on stem cell cycle

    Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    In this work, the interdisciplinary team with Gökhan Ertaylan of MaCSBio, uncovers genes that are responsible for the pluripotency and proliferation of embryonic stem cells.

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  • MaCSBio receives NWO-TIFN-TKI grant

    MaCSBio receives NWO-TIFN-TKI-grant

    Friday, January 13, 2017

    MaCSBio successfully attracted funding as part of a large NWO-TIFN-TKI project which aims to determine how dietary food intake and physical activity influence plasma glucose control, and how differences in plasma glucose concentrations, in turn, affect the mental and physical performance as well as the well-being.

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  • Mike Gerards receives €60.000 Metakids-grant

    Friday, December 16, 2016

    Mike Gerards is currently working at The Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio). His project focuses on the identification and functional characterization of novel genes involved in mitochondria (more specifically in mtDNA replication) and screening these genes for mutations in patients.

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  • macsbio-logo

    MaCSBio/NUTRIM paper published in Bioinformatics

    Friday, September 9, 2016

    The paper 'Estimating real cell size distribution from cross-section microscopy imaging' by the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) and the Department of Human Biology NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism has been published in Bioinformatics.

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  • Mike Gerards

    Mike Gerards co-writes paper

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    MaCSBio's Mike Gerards has co-written a paper about the differences in strength and timing of the mtDNA bottleneck between zebrafish germline and non-germline cells, which has been published on Science Direct

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  • Michael Lenz

    MaCSBio's Michael Lenz's Article published

    Friday, June 24, 2016

    Principal components analysis (PCA) is a common unsupervised method for the analysis of gene expression microarray data, providing information on the overall structure of the analyzed dataset. 

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  • ilja arts_Research Institute_MACSBIO

    New scientific director Ilja Arts presents research lines at first MaCSBio Day

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    Professor Ilja Arts, scientific director of the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio), announced at the first MaCSBio Science day on 17 May that the institute would focus on two research lines: systems medicine of chronic diseases and computational and systems neuroscience.

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  • chris-evelo

    MaCSBio's Chris Evelo new co-leader of ELIXIR Interoperability platform

    Friday, May 20, 2016

    Chris Evelo (ELIXIR Netherlands) is the new co-leader of the ELIXIR Interoperability Platform, replacing Barend Mons, the Head of Dutch ELIXIR Node. Evelo joins Helen Parkinson (EMBL-EBI) and Carole Goble (ELIXIR UK) in leading the Interoperability Platform.

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  • Bert Smeets

    Bert Smeets: Research pays off

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    MaCSBio's director of education Bert Smeets has been interviewed for the Dutch serie: 'Research Loont' (translation: 'Research pays off') about the unraveling of genetic causes of hereditary metabolic disease among children.

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  • Gokhan Ertaylan

    MaCSBio's Gökhan Ertaylan's Article published

    Friday, April 22, 2016

    Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells which takes place continuously throughout our life. In this work the interdisciplinary team with Gökhan Ertaylan of MaCSBio has been collaborating, uncovers a function for Prox1 gene that functions as an inducer of neuronal differentiation.

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MaCSBio - Research

MaCSBio strives to perform cutting edge research in areas that are highly relevant for society. Research projects at MaCSBio are arranged into two main research lines:

  • Systems Medicine of Chronic Disease
  • Computational Biology of Neural and Genetic Systems

Find more information here


MaCSBio - Education

Teaching takes place in the two-year master's programme Systems Biology, which combines theory and practical skills necessary for unraveling the complex interplay between biological systems.

The unique merge of disciplines such as biology, computer science and applied mathematics, will enable you to translate and integrate large datasets into biologically relevant information and prepare you for developing novel strategies to address scientific challenges.

The Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience (FPN), Faculty of Health, Medicine & Life Sciences (FHML) and Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE).

The centre’s primary aim is to facilitate the integration of biological data coming from several empirical domains using mathematical multi-scale modelling approaches.

Provincie Limburg

The Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) has been founded with support of the Province of Limburg.