Frank gave his inaugural speech

On Wednesday, June 29, Frank gave his inaugural speech for this University Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Life Sciences. The speech was in Dutch and with it came a written text. The day ended with a party where Frank received two wonderful gifts from the department and other colleagues: a glider (sailplane) flight and a picture of Frank explaining his Fabulous Fundamental Formula of Fitness, printed on wood.


You can download the written text (in Dutch) by clicking: inaugurele rede.


We have a vacancy for a PhD position

The Systems Bioinformatics section of the VU University in Amsterdam (NL) is offering a 3-year position for a

PhD student to study How a single cell integrates multiple signals via one of its G-protein coupled receptors

We are looking for a master student with a degree in systems biology, biophysics, or molecular biology who is highly motivated to pursue a PhD study. You should be highly interested in combining state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy with theoretical methods to understand how single human cells integrate signals via one of its G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and its downstream signalling network. You will be working with FRET-sensors, which monitor the activation of particular G-proteins upon GPCR activation, and fluorescent reporters of downstream signalling activity. Theoretical methods from systems biology and biophysics shall be used for data analysis, mechanistic understanding and predictive modelling.

This project is part of the European Marie Curie ITN project “CaSR Biomedicine”. It combines the expertise of about 10 EU-research labs that aim to understand the role of the calcium sensing receptor, a GPCR, from protein to patient level. This vacancy is at the section Systems Bioinformatics (, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and the Molecular Cytology lab (, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Students are only eligible if at the time of the selection by the host university, the candidate has not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date.

Please send your CV (including your grade list) and the contact information of two  previous supervisors to Prof Dr Frank J Bruggeman (

For additional information see:

We organised an introductory systems biology course

As part of the BioSB Research School, which brings together bioinformaticians and systems biologists, we organised an introductory systems-biology course. In this course, we focussed on the basics of mathematical modelling of molecular circuits and the emergent properties of those circuits, such as their (in)stability, robustness and (in)sensitivity properties. We will organise a similar course next year; so keep an eye on the BioSB website to stay informed, or register for their mailing list.

A new paper by us about metabolic optimality!

In this PLoS Comp Bio paper, we study how metabolic constraints and optimisation objectives influence optimal states of metabolism and how those optimal states can be expressed in terms of metabolic routes. Optimal states are often represented by optimal-solution spaces, which are mathematical objects that cannot be readily interpreted. We express such solution spaces in terms of metabolic pathways that are intuitive and understandable by biochemists and biotechnologist studying metabolism. This paper is related to one of our previous papers, which can be found here.