The Joint Research Center for Computational Biomedicine (JRC-COMBINE) is a  joint venture between RWTH Aachen University, RWTH University Hospital (UKA) and the Bayer AG. Currently, three research groups, headed by Andreas Schuppert, Julio Saez-Rodriguez, and Marc Brehme complement each other in the areas of big data, mechanistic, and disease modeling.

Research Groups

Prof. Andreas Schuppert

The Schuppert group focuses on Big Data modeling with the goal to extract the information contained in heterogeneous biological data from multiple sources in order to gain insight into the functioning of biological systems. Techniques include hybrid modeling, statistics, machine learning, and complex systems theory.

Prof. Julio Saez-Rodriguez

The Saez-Rodriguez group develops and applies computational methods towards a functional understanding of signaling networks and their deregulation in disease, and to translate this knowledge to develop novel therapeutics. To this end, his group collaborates closely with biological and clinical groups as well as pharmaceutical companies.

Approaches typically combines data-driven methods from statistics and machine learning, with mechanistic knowledge on the cellular pathways and processes of relevance, and applies these methods to integrate various omics data. A specific focus is the use of logic modeling to understand signal transduction, and apply it to mass-spectrometry and single cell data. Their main applications are cancer and auto-immune diseases. His group is also actively involved in crowdsourcing computational biomedicine via the DREAM challenges.

Dr. rer. nat. Marc Brehme

The Brehme group pursues interdisciplinary approaches to disease modeling at the interface of systems biology, clinical research, and integrative data analysis towards laboratory testable hypotheses and computational disease models with translational potential.

A core interest is on proteostasis systems biology and the understanding of proteostasis network (PN) alterations in human diseases, towards a rationale for therapeutic network re-adjustment of proteostatic disorders using proteostasis regulator drugs.

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Ph.D.

Prof. Lauffenburger is Ford Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Biology and Head of the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge MA, USA. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illionois and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the David H. Koch Insitute for Integrative Cancer Research, an Affiliate of The Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH and Harvard, and a Member of the MIT Center for Gynepathology Research. His research is focused on  molecular cell bioengineering and cue-signal-response paradigms.

Prof. Philip K. Maini, Ph.D.

Prof. Maini is Professor in Mathematical Biology at the University of Oxford, U.K., Director at the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology at Oxford. He received his B.A. in Mathematics in 1982 and D.Phil in Mathematics in 1985. In 2014 he was listed by Thomson Reuters amongst "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds". His core research interest is in mathematical and computational modeling of temporal and spatiotemporal phenomena in various areas in the life sciences, physiology and medicine.

Prof. Peter Kohl, Ph.D.

Prof. Kohl holds the Chair in Cardiac Biophysics and Systems Biology at the National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI), Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK. Following studies in Medicine and Biophysics at Moscow Pirogov Institute and post-graduate research and residency at the Charité in Berlin he received his Ph.D. in 1990. His team is established in the field of cardiac mechano-electircal interaction studies, with a stong focus on interdisciplinary approaches combining experimantaion and computation.


  • 2016-2020 BMBF LiSym: Liver systems medicine, partners: Julio Saez-Rodriguez and Andreas Schuppert