Christian Forst, PhD
img_Christian Forst
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Host-Pathogen Systems Biology:
Unlike traditional biological research that focuses on a small set of  components, systems biology studies the complex interactions among a large number of genes, proteins and other elements of biological networks and systems. Host-Pathogen Systems Biology examines the interactions between the components of two distinct organisms: a microbial or viral pathogen and its animal host. With the availability of complete genomic sequences of a variety of hosts and pathogens, together with breakthroughs in proteomics, metabolomics and other experimental areas, the investigation of host-pathogen systems on a multitude of levels of detail has come within reach. 
We are particularly interested the role of biochemical networks for the study of complex relationships across species boundaries. Although the research area of host-pathogen systems biology spans multiple spatial and temporal scales, we are focusing on the molecular and cellular aspect of pathogen-host interactions. Our research covers the construction of biochemical networks, the identification of functional response sub-networks and their comparative network analysis. These methods find application in the identification of host markers and drug targets for further drug development and therapeutic interventions. 

Methods in Network Biology:
Furthermore, we are developing mathematical approaches and computational tools for the study and analysis of biochemical networks. Such approaches include novel clustering methods to identify tightly connected sub-networks, parallel algorithms to effectively calculate k-shortest paths and network algebras to compare and manipulate biochemical networks in a well-defined, mathematical manner.

BS, University of Vienna

MS, University of Vienna

PhD, University of Vienna


Haberecht Wildhare-Idea Research Award

UT Southwestern Medical Center


Distinguished Performance Award

Los Alamos National Laboratory


Distinguished Performance Scholarship

University of Vienna


Elected student participant of 1989 Nobel Laureate Conference

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Forst did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2022 and/or 2023: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.