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Personal profile

Research profile

Natal van Riel is Professor of Biomedical Systems Biology at the department of Biomedical Engineering (research group Computational Biology) at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he leads the Systems Biology and Metabolic Diseases research program. He is also part-time Professor of Computational Modelling at Amsterdam University Medical Centers (location AMC, University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Medicine). His research focuses on modelling of metabolic networks and physiology, learning algorithms to develop personalized models (metabolic ‘digital twins’), methods for analysis of dynamic models, and applications in Metabolic Syndrome and associated diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.
The role of bile acids in the complex interaction between gut microbiome and metabolic health is currently an important research focus in his group (e.g. in the RESOLVE project in collaboration with Amsterdam UMC). Within the NWO program ‘Complexity in Health and Nutrition’, Natal van Riel also focuses on modelling the digestion and metabolism of nutrients in the project ‘Metabolic adaptation, transitions and resilience in overweight individuals’. In cooperation with the Catharina hospital in Eindhoven he has developed the Metabolic Health Index (MHI) to quantify the benefit of bariatric surgery to resolve metabolic diseases (type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia), which is a second important outcome of the surgical treatment in addition to weight reduction.

Academic background

Natal van Riel studied Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands) where he was trained in system identification and control engineering. After receiving his MSc degree in 1995, he started PhD research in the Biotechnology group of Unilever Research Vlaardingen (The Netherlands) under supervision of Prof. Theo Verrips, on integrating computational modelling and experiments to study cell metabolism. In 2000, he obtained his PhD from Utrecht University (The Netherlands). From 2000 to 2003, he worked in the department of Electrical Engineering of TU/e, investigating the application of system and control theory to understand biological processes. In 2003, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering at TU/e where he initiated Systems Biology research. This was expanded when he joined the group of Prof. Peter Hilbers in 2006, to lead the Computational Systems Biology research program, investigating complex, multi-factorial diseases. In 2014, Natal van Riel was appointed Associate Professor of Systems Biology and Metabolic Diseases. In that same year he was a visiting scholar of the department of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the group of Prof. Bernhard Palsson. In 2015, he was appointed part-time Professor of Computational Modelling at the Academic Medical Center AMC (University of Amsterdam). In 2019, he was appointed full Professor of Biomedical Systems Biology at TU/e. He also serves as a board member of the TU/e's Data Science Center.


In the past decade Systems Biology has become an established methodology for integrative and quantitative life science research. It is our goal to translate Systems Biology to biomedical and medical research and education to understand, cure and prevent diseases.

External positions

Professor Computational Modelling, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam

Nov 2015 → …

Associate member of the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio), Maastricht University

2015 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Natal A.W. van Riel is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Systems Biology Medicine & Life Sciences
Computer Simulation Medicine & Life Sciences
Muscles Medicine & Life Sciences
Liver Medicine & Life Sciences
Glucose Medicine & Life Sciences
Skeletal Muscle Medicine & Life Sciences
Lipoproteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Lipid Metabolism Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2000 2020

Metabolic Health Index (MHI): assessment of comorbidity in bariatric patients based on biomarkers

van Loon, S. L. M., Deneer, R., Nienhuijs, S. W., Wilbik, A., Kaymak, U., van Riel, N., Scharnhorst, V. & Boer, A-K., 1 Feb 2020, In : Obesity Surgery. 30, 2, p. 714-724 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
6 Downloads (Pure)

A computational model of postprandial adipose tissue lipid metabolism derived using human arteriovenous stable isotope tracer data

O'Donovan, S. D., Lenz, M., Vink, R. G., Roumans, N. J. T., de Kok, T. M. C. M., Mariman, E. C. M., Peeters, R. L. M., van Riel, N. A. W., van Baak, M. A. & Arts, I. C. W., Oct 2019, In : PLoS Computational Biology. 15, 10, 23 p., e1007400.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Lipid Metabolism
Radioactive tracers
isotope labeling
lipid metabolism
10 Downloads (Pure)

Characterization of disease-specific cellular abundance profiles of chronic inflammatory skin conditions from deconvolution of biopsy samples

Félix Garza, Z. C., Lenz, M., Liebmann, J., Ertaylan, G., Born, M., Arts, I. C. W., Hilbers, P. A. J. & Van Riel, N. A. W., 17 Aug 2019, In : BMC Medical Genomics. 12, 1, 14 p., 121.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Atopic Dermatitis
Skin Diseases
29 Downloads (Pure)

Computational modelling of energy balance in individuals with Metabolic Syndrome

Rozendaal, Y., Wang, Y., Hilbers, P. & van Riel, N., 26 Feb 2019, In : BMC Systems Biology. 13, 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Computational Modeling
Energy Balance
Energy balance
Energy Metabolism

Deep learning methods to translate gene expression changes induced in vitro in rat hepatocytes to human in vivo

de Kok, T. M., O'Donnovan, S., Lenz, M., Wimmenauer, F., Lukas, A., Neeven, J., Stumm, T., Krishna, A., Lopatta, D., Smirnov, E., Ertaylan, G., van Riel, N., Jennen, D., Cavill, R., Driessens, K. & Peeters, R., 15 Oct 2019, In : Toxicology Letters. 314, p. S170-S170 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic


AMC Principal Investigator

Natal van Riel (Recipient), 1 May 2016

Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Heart Neoplasms
Practice Guidelines
Chronic Disease
Myocardial Infarction

Koninklijke Onderscheiding; Lid in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau/ Recipient of Dutch Royal Order of Chivalry, Order of Orange-Nassau

Natal van Riel (Recipient), 27 Mar 2014

Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Activities 2001 2018

Personalized modelling of bile acid metabolism: predicting metabolic effects of bariatric surgery

Natal van Riel (Speaker)
6 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

4th Dutch Bioinformatics & Systems Biology Conference

Natal van Riel (Organiser)
15 May 201816 May 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesConferenceScientific

A physiology based glucose-insulin-GLP-1 model: explaining changes observed after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

L.C.P. Thijssen (Speaker), Natal van Riel (Member)
15 May 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Systems Medicine of Metabolic Syndrome; metabolic benefits of bariatric surgery

Natal van Riel (Speaker)
2 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

Modeling of postprandial metabolic dynamics in human individuals

Natal van Riel (Organiser)
22 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific


DBL Computational biology

1/09/12 → …


Endocrinology and metabolism

1/09/13 → …


Project Computational biology



Synthetic and systems biology

1/09/13 → …


Student theses

A computational model for the drug treatment effects for the EGF pathway

Author: van Tienhoven, S., 31 Jan 2013

Supervisor: van Riel, N. (Supervisor 1) & Hilbers, P. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Added value of independent component analysis to identify epileptic networks

Author: Klooster, D., 31 Oct 2014

Supervisor: Hilbers, P. (Supervisor 1), van Riel, N. (Supervisor 2), Ossenblok, P. (External coach) & ten Eikelder, H. (External coach)

Student thesis: Master

A hybrid systems approach to identification of nonlinear biochemical processes

Author: Lindenaar, D., 28 Feb 2006

Supervisor: Musters, M. (Supervisor 1), van Riel, N. (Supervisor 2) & van den Bosch, P. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Algorithms for estimation of model errors and uncertainties arising in black box system identification

Author: van Riel, N., 31 Oct 1995

Supervisor: van den Bosch, P. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


A mathematical model for platelet adhesion and activation: application to cerebral arteries

Author: Lourens, M., 31 Aug 2007

Supervisor: van de Vosse, F. (Supervisor 1), Nicolaij, K. (Supervisor 2), Bovendeerd, P. (Supervisor 2), Huyghe, J. (Supervisor 2) & van Riel, N. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master