Who we are

The Systems Biology Group is a Palo Alto based research institution composed of some of world’s leading experts in aging, cultural neurobiology, cardiovascular medicine, molecular immunology, computational biology, microbiome research, medical anthropology, evolutionary medicine and nutrition, and related fields.

Systems Biology Group associates and collaborators represent major research facilities all over the world, including Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Lund University Medical School, and other major institutions in Germany, Italy, the Middle East, South America, and the United States.


Board of directors

Steve Farmer, Ph.D. Co-founder, Chief Science Officer

Dr. Farmer specializes in studies of brain and the evolution of thought and in broad theoretical issues in systems biology. He and his colleagues wrote the first papers on computational simulations of the evolution of premodern thought in the first decade of the 21st century, adopting modeling techniques widely used to study complex evolving systems in general.  He holds his Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a former Harvard University Research Fellow & Research Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Steve taught in major U.S. universities for nearly twenty years before returning to pure research in the last decade.  He remains a major force in the academic world, and in recent  years has given many invited lectures at major universities and research centers in China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Scotland, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Central Asia. Dr. Farmer’s work over the past half decade has increasingly focused on evolutionary nutrition and related in fields in behavioral medicine linked to the control of aging and early developmental processes. He is the co-lead author of a major book-in-progress and several papers on those topics.

David Furman, Ph.D. Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Furman is a Consulting Associate Professor at the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His research is focused on the regulatory mechanisms behind low-grade chronic inflammation and so-called “diseases of aging”. Prior to his current appointment, Dr Furman was a Senior Scientist at Stanford, where he conducted advanced research in Systems Immunology to answer major questions relevant to translational medicine, including the effect of aging, gender and common viral infections on multiple immune system components. David is the author or co-author of over 20 recent papers on chronic inflammation & disease, including major articles in Nature Medicine (in press), Cell, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and other high-impact scientific journals. Before joining Stanford, David was at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Bordeaux, France; before that he held a post-doc at Stanford’s Center on Longevity. David received his Ph.D. at the School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, where he conducted his first research on immunology and cancer. David is currently writing a book with Dr. Farmer and specialists in evolutionary medicine at Lund University in Sweden and the University of Lisbon in Portugal on evolutionary medicine. The book deals in part with the role of evolutionary and behavioral medicine in preventing & treating diseases of aging.

Scientific Advisory Board

Mark M. Davis, PhD. School of Medicine, Stanford University (Molecular Immunology)

Vladimir Jojic, PhD. Dept. of Computer Sciences, University of North Carolina (Machine Learning).

Ulrich Kutschera, PhD. Institute of Biology, the University of Kassel, Germany, and Visiting Scientist, Stanford University (Plant Physiology/Evolutionary Biology).

Staffan Lindeberg, MD-PhD. Department of Medicine, University of Lund, Sweden (Medical Anthropology/Evolutionary Nutrition)

Stanley G. Rockson, MD. School of Medicine, Stanford University (Cardiovascular Medicine)

Shai Shen-Orr, PhD. Rapport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Computational Biology)

Justin L. Sonnenburg, PhD. School of Medicine, Stanford University (Microbiome Research)