Who we are
The Systems Biology Group is a Palo Alto based research consultancy composed of specialists in aging, cultural neurobiology, immunology, computational biology, microbiome research, evolutionary medicine, and related fields.
Systems Biology Group associates and collaborators include major researchers from all over the world, including those currently based in Europe, Japan, India, and the United States.
Steve Farmer, Ph.D. 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 a 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 two decades before returning to pure research in the last decade. He remains a major force in the academic world, and in recent years has given dozens of invited lectures at major universities and research centers in China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Scotland, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Central Asia as well as the United States. Major lectures in the U.S. have included those at Harvard Univerity, Columbia University, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. Dr. Farmer’s work over the past half decade has increasingly focused on evolutionary medicine/nutrition and related in fields in behavioral therapies linked to the control of aging and early developmental processes. He is the lead or co-author of several major papers and books-in-progress on those topics.
Ulrich Kutschera is a prominent German zoologist, plant scientist, and evolutionary biologist. He has published 15 major books in German and over 300 scientific articles in English covering animal, microbial and plant taxonomy and physiology as well as evolutionary theory. His publications include papers written with prominent collaborators in Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and other high-impact journals.
Dr. Kutschera received the German equivalent of his bachelor and masters degrees and PhD at the University of Freiburg, Germany, completing the latter in 1985. His doctoral thesis was awarded the Pfizer Research Award in Germany the following year. Between 1985 and 1988, he conducted post-doctoral work at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Biology, located at Stanford University, and the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory at Michigan State University. He subsequently worked first as a research associate and then lecturer at the University of Bonn. In 1993 he joined the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry as a Full Professor and Department Chair at the University of Kassel, where he conducted research the next 28 years. In 2007 he was further named a Visiting Scientist at the Carnegie Institute for Plant Biology at Stanford, where he largely focused on hormone activity in plants, an issue on which he is a leading world authority. His long collaboration with the late head of the Carnegie Institute at Stanford, Winslow R. Briggs (1928 – 2019) and their co-workers, yielded a number of high-profile studies over the next 14 years using Quantitative Proteomics technology to study sunflower movement and photomorphogenesis. Since March 2021, Kutschera has served as a Scientific Advisor for the high-tech Agriculture Consultancy Firm i-Cultiver Inc., founded by Rajnish Khanna, one of Uli’s most prominent collaborators at the Carnegie Institute for Plant Biology.
Beyond writing theoretical papers, In his work as an zoologist and evolutionary biologist Dr. Kutschera first discovered many animal species (leeches), two bacterial species, and one novel form of plasmodial slime mold — an ecologically important class of microbes he has studied for many years. Among other honors, Dr. Kutschera is an elected member of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). In 2002, he became head of the Arbeitskreis (AK) Evolutionsbiologie (Working Group in Evolutionary Biology) at Der Verband Deutscher Biologen (The Association of German Biologists). He further served as its vice president from 2004 to 2007. In 2013, Dr. Kutschera was elected corresponding member of the Botanical Society of America. Beyond his scientific work, Dr. Kutschera, whose father was a distinguished artist, is an accomplished musician and composer; he is currently producing a sixth album of his compositions. For more on his work in general, see https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ulrich-Kutschera