Life and living systems, in particular, are fascinating and complex. For example, it is not evident how to breathe life from fundamental laws such as Schrödinger's or Maxwell's equations. The quest for understanding the distinction(s) between living and dead systems has been with humanity since the dawn of civilization if not earlier. The developments in biology since Darwin to the discovery of DNA and the subsequent revolution in molecular biology, including the sequencing of the human genome, have provided us with a growing parts list subserving life. Hence, the emergence of systems biology can, in this perspective, be viewed as a response on how to handle and intellectually come to terms with this staggering complexity, while fundamentally still being driven by the quest for understanding living systems.
"KAUST shall be a beacon for peace, hope and reconciliation, and shall serve the people of the Kingdom and the world."
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 1924 – 2015
Thuwal 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia