Saez-Rodriguez Group

Systems Biomedicine

Bárbara Zita Peters Couto

I have always liked biology and medicine, so studying biochemistry for my undergrad was a good decision. My journey of liking computers so much started when I went to the CRUK-CI for a wet lab summer internship. I saw two interns next to me working on a super cool-looking computer screen. Since then, I have pursued computational knowledge constantly. During my master’s in Berlin, I again had both wet lab and dry lab experience, and realised that I am very passionate about computers (thank you Vim). During my master’s thesis at Stefanie Großwendt’s lab, I also realised that I am super interested in the topic of cell-cell communication, and in databases with biological prior knowledge. Therefore (and especially thanks to all my previous supervisors, colleagues, family and friends) I have decided to pursue academia further, joining the Saez-Rodriguez lab as a PhD student.

Research Interests

With the existing and upcoming omics technologies, it could be possible to get deep insights into a cell’s way of working. I am super interested in how cells communicate/interact with each other, and how this knowledge could help us find therapeutic strategies for cancer and other diseases. During my PhD I am going to be part of the DECIDER project (European Union-funded project, grant agreement No 965193). Ultimately, my aim is to better understand the biology of cancer, to hopefully help patients down the line!

Professional Career

2023-present PhD Candidate, Saez-Rodriguez Group, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine & Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany
2023 Visiting Researcher, groups of Shila Ghazanfar and Ellis Patrick, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney, Australia
2022 MSc Student, Grosswendt lab, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Max Delbrück Centre, Germany
2021 Research internships at the Institute for Theoretical Biology and Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
2019 Summer studentship, Hannon lab, CRUK-CI, University of Cambridge, UK


2020-2022 MSc Molecular Medicine, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
2017-2020 BSc Biochemistry, King’s College London, UK
2018-2019 BSc Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara