Full Professor

Natal van Riel

In the past decade Systems Biology has become an established methodology for integrative and quantitative life science research. It is our goal to translate Systems Biology to biomedical and medical research and education to understand, cure and prevent diseases.


Research Profile

Natal van Riel is Professor of Biomedical Systems Biology at the department of Biomedical Engineering (research group Computational Biology), where he leads the Systems Biology and Metabolic Diseases research program.  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 and metabolism of nutrients is an important research focus in his group (e.g. in the RESOLVE project in collaboration with Amsterdam Medical Centre). Within the NWO program ‘Complexity in Health and Nutrition’, Natal van Riel also focuses on the role of bile 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 adaptation, transitions and resilience in overweight individuals’.

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). In 2019, he was appointed full Professor of Biomedical Systems Biology at TU/e. He also serves as a board member of the TU/e's Data Science Center.

Educational Activities

  • Systems medicine
  • Project Computational biology
  • Synthetic and systems biology
  • Simulation of biochemical systems
  • Endocrinology and metabolism
  • DBL Computational biology

Ancillary Activities

No ancillary activities