COVID-19 Research

Researchers affiliated with the CNSB are very active in multiple covid-related collaborative efforts:

  1. Using systems biology and quantitative mass spectrometry-based approaches to study how the virus hijacks the host cellular protein machinery. Evidence suggests replication via a network of viral protein interactions with human cell surface receptors, as well as intracellular signaling, and metabolic and biomolecular replicative pathways. We aim to find actionable targets to boost adaptive cell- and tissue-level host responses in human and animal models.
  2. Using chemical proteomics to characterize potential anti-viral ligands and study the mechanism-of-action of all bioactive compound leads or ‘hits’ emerging from ongoing screens by our collaborators at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) to enhance their translational impact.

COVID-19 Research Group Presentation

What We Do

Network Systems Biology aims to describe the physical and functional interactions of cellular biomolecules that mediate the diverse complex biological processes crucial to human health and disease. It is the focus of the Center for Network Systems Biology, and an emerging strength of Boston University. Elucidating the biological networks that support human health and development normally, and which go awry in pathology, is fundamental to a deeper mechanistic understanding of biological and disease processes.


The Center for Network Systems Biology at Boston University supports ambitious research initiatives to map protein interaction networks in different biomedical contexts. CNSB provides essential interdisciplinary knowledge as well as the technical prowess to get to the heart of network systems biology. With collaborative research programs based across both Boston University campuses – BU Medical Center and Charles River – the CNSB will serve as a leading hub from which to chart the dynamic molecular networks critical to human cells and tissues.

Researchers at the CNSB have developed a new chemical-proteomics platform (Ligand Pulldown Express) to explore the interactions of metabolites and other bioactive small molecules with human proteins involved in heath and disease.

Researchers at the CNSB are developing a potentially transformative new spatial-proteomics technology (PRISM) to identify and localize the many different proteins present in each of the different cells of the human body.

Our Research

Human health and development depend on dynamic networks of physical, and functional, interactions between proteins. However, the details of these networks – how they are formed and how they function – are largely unknown. More importantly, and perhaps surprisingly, it is still unclear how these networks malfunction in disorders like cancer, neurodegeneration or cardiovascular disease.

The CNSB aims to advance fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing human health and development, basic cell biology, and normal protein function. Since the disruption of protein interactions underlies many pathologies, these studies will also reveal causal disease relationships and druggable targets, helping to advance precision medicine.

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Our Team

A talented team of researchers at the Center is developing and deploying innovative ‘functional proteomic’ methods. These methods combine protein biochemistry, precision mass spectrometry, and molecular genetics together with integrative statistically-motivated computational approaches to systematically characterize the myriad of protein interactions present inside cells and tissues.

Meet the team

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