Systems Immunology

To see the immune system with the eyes of mathematics – that is the guiding principle of the department Systems Immunology. Mathematical models help to faster and better understand diseases that are associated with immune functions. Read here how scientists use mathematics to investigate chronic inflammatory diseases, the regulation of adaptive immune responses, and the interaction between the nervous, the endocrine and the immune system.



Dr Gang Zhao


Curriculum Vitae

He got his Bachelor (1998) and PhD (2006) in chemical physics, in University of Science and Technology of China. After that, he conducted his research in Jiangxi University of Technology. Since September 2011 he belonged to the Department of Systems Immunology in HZI.


Type 2 Diabetes on a systemic level, with special interest in the role of inflammatory response


Zhang L, Zhao G (2010) Superiority of single covalent modification in specificity: From deterministic to stochastic viewpoint. Journal of Theoretical Biology 264:1111–1119.

Zhao G (2010) Probability of Entrainment, Synaptic Modification and Entrained Phase Are Phase-Dependent in STDP. Journal of Biological Systems 18:479–493.

Zhao G (2010) Phase organization of circadian oscillators in extended gate and oscillator models. Journal of Theoretical Biology 264:367–376.

Ruan Y, Zhao G (2009) Comparison and Regulation of Neuronal Synchronization for Various STDP Rules. Neural Plasticity 2009:1–13.

Zhao G, Hou Z, Xin H (2006) Canard explosion and internal signal stochastic bi-resonance in the CO oxidation on platinum surface. Science in China Series B: Chemistry 49:133–139.

Zhao G, Hou Z, Xin H (2006) Frequency-selective response of FitzHugh-Nagumo neuron networks via changing random edges. Chaos 16:043107.

Zhao G, Hou Z, Xin H (2005) Canard explosion and coherent biresonance in the rate oscillation of CO oxidation on platinum surface. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109:8515–8519.

Zhao G, Hou Z, Xin H (2005) Frequency-selective response of periodically forced coupled FHN models via system size multi-resonance. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 7:3634–3638.

Zhao G, Xin H (2000) Traveling chaos wave in coupled map lattices with complete unidirectional coupling. Physics Letters A 268:181–185.


  • How is the HZI contributing to the management of the coronavirus pandemic?

    Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig has focused its research activities on the novel coronavirus. Representative for the diverse research projects at HZI, three scientists present their contributions to coping with the pandemic. Prof Michael Meyer-Hermann is developing mathematical models for the course of the pandemic. Prof Melanie Brinkmann has investigated transmission pathways in a large coronavirus outbreak and shown that the pathogen can be spread via aerosols. Prof Gérard Krause is leading an antibody study to monitor the development of the pandemic and is developing digital tools such as the SORMAS system to support the public health service in pandemic response.

Audio Podcast

  • BRICS – Rechnen für die InfektionsforschungDie Mischung macht es – im richtigen Leben ebenso wie in der Infektionsforschung. Systembiologen am HZI und an der Technischen Universität Braunschweig mischen Laborerkenntnisse mit Computermodellen. Begleiten Sie Michael Meyer-Hermann virtuell an das BRICS und hören Sie weshalb es so sinnvoll ist, Biologie mit System zu betreiben.
  • Rechnen für die Gesundheit – Systembiologie bringt System in die Arthritis-Therapie Infektionsforscher arbeiten mit Zellkulturen, Krankheitserregern, nehmen Proben, messen und werten die Messergebnisse aus. Allerdings reicht das in der modernen Wissenschaft häufig nicht mehr aus – gerade wenn es um so komplexe Systeme wie uns Menschen geht. Hier kommen Computer ins Spiel: die Systembiologie. Hören Sie Michael Meyer-Hermann zu, wie er am Rechner die Jahrzehnte alte Therapie gegen Rheumatoide Arthritis auf den Kopf stellt...
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