Associate Professor

Natal van Riel

Group / Unit
Computational Biology
Gemini zuid
Floor / room

Research Profile

Natal van Riel is Associate Professor of Systems Biology and Metabolic Diseases at the department of Biomedical Engineering (research group Computational Biology). He is also part-time Professor of Computational Modelling at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Medicine (Academic Medical Center, AMC). His research focuses on modelling of metabolic networks and physiology, learning algorithms to develop personalized models, methods for analysis of dynamic models, and applications in Metabolic Syndrome and associated diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Modelling the digestion, intake and conversion of fats is an important research focus in his group (e.g. in the RESOLVE project in collaboration with Amsterdam Medical Centre). Within the NWO / TIFN program ‘System Approaches for Food and Nutrition’, Natal van Riel also focuses on the role of amino acids in the complex interaction between nutrition and health. This research is performed together with Maastricht Center for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) in the project ‘Metabolic modelling of postprandial glucose dynamics and its modulation by diet and physical activity: the role of amino acids’.

Academic Background

Natal van Riel studied Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands) where he was trained in system identification and control engineering. After receiving his MSc degree in 1995, he started PhD research in the Biotechnology group of Unilever Research Vlaardingen (The Netherlands) under supervision of Prof. Theo Verrips, on integrating computational modelling and experiments to study cell metabolism. In 2000, he obtained his PhD from Utrecht University (The Netherlands). From 2000 to 2003, he worked in the department of Electrical Engineering of TU/e, investigating the application of system and control theory to understand biological processes. In 2003, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering at TU/e where he initiated Systems Biology research. This was expanded when he joined the group of Prof. Peter Hilbers in 2006, to lead the Computational Systems Biology research program, investigating complex, multi-factorial diseases. In 2014, Natal van Riel was appointed Associate Professor of Systems Biology and Metabolic Diseases. In that same year he was a visiting scholar of the department of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the group of Prof. Bernhard Palsson. In 2015, he was appointed part-time Professor of Computational Modelling at the Academic Medical Center AMC (University of Amsterdam). He also serves as a senior researcher at the TU/e's Institute for Complex Molecular Systems.

Educational Activities

  • Systems biology
  • Synthetic and systems biology
  • Project Computational biology
  • DBL Computational biology
  • Simulation of biochemical systems
  • Bachelor final project Computational Biology

Ancillary Activities

No ancillary activities