Master's programme in bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is an exciting area where biology, computer science, and mathematics meet. The questions studied come from biology and medicine, but they are studied and solved with methods and tools drawn from computer science and mathematics.
Recent technological advances within biology has provided tools that generate huge amounts of data. To be able to draw conclusions from all these data, tools are needed to manage, store, access, analyze, and visualize it. The role of the bioinformatician is at the heart of this process, with a role to develop and apply such tools. The bioinformatician thus needs biological knowledge to know what to do, and computer and mathematics skills to know how to do it.
The Master's program in Bioinformatics combines courses where you learn about the questions posed by biomedicine, pharmacology, and evolutionary biology, and the study of DNA/RNA/protein sequence data, molecular structures, gene expression and other kinds of observational data. You will study such things as knowledge-based and learning systems, Markov models and various ways to create heuristic methods, to solve these questions with the data available.
Who is a bioinformatician?
Today, virtually everyone and anyone, who works with biological problems, have to be a bioinformatician, albeit to a larger or lesser extent. One can divide us into three guilds – the users, the power users, and the developers. Everyone is at least a user; a user applies the available tools and software to solve the biological question. The power user is not satisfied with this; she will modify the tools, create the programmes she needs, and combine elements from other software. The power user still has her main focus on the biological question at hand, and the tools she creates are a direct solution to the specific problem. The developer on the other hand is a specialist problem solver, who produces solutions not only to the specific biological question she is faced with, but to similar problems faced by other biologists; the goal for the developer is to produce bioinformatics tools that the community (e.g., the users guild) can use when needed.
One of our students explains below.
The aim of this Master programme in Bioinformatics is that you as a student should be a well-prepared power user or developer after graduation, and thus be able to both formulate interesting biological questions, and to solve them by applying your computer science knowledge and skills.
An international Master's Programme
The core content of the Master of Science in Bioinformatics is well established. Almost ten years ago we introduced an engineering programme in bioinformatics at master level. This programme was among the first of its kind to combine a traditional engineering education with modern molecular biology and bioinformatics. The programme has won a first class reputation within universities and biotechnology companies, both nationally and internationally, for its well-educated students.
Education linked to current research
Teachers at the programme are active researchers. The close connection between research and education means that besides first class subject knowledge, training in systematic analysis and problem solving is also provided. In the programme you will come into daily contact with researchers in the front line of international science. You will be able to benefit from their knowledge, experience their respective research areas and gain access to international contacts. You will have the opportunity to participate in, and affect the development of, research concerning the life sciences in an open and creative research and educational environment.
Information about current research within the Biology section of the Faculty of Technology and Natural Sciences is presented at:
Degree and career opportunities
Successful studies at the programme lead to an internationally recognised Master of Science degree.
With a Master of Science in Bioinformatics you will be well prepared to work with development of new bioinformatics tools, and new ways of analysing biological data, in biotechnology/biomedical companies, or with research and development at an academic institution in Sweden or abroad. You will also have an excellent basis for pursuing academic research through PhD studies in several different areas.
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