The bioinformatics analysis minor immerses students in the core challenges and strengths of the field of bioinformatics, as well as the ethical issues involved. Students gain hands-on experience implementing some of the core algorithms utilized by professionals in the field.
Students must complete the following courses or their equivalent:
General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth. Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
General Biology I Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. (Co-requisites: BIOL-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Summer).
General Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology. Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
General Biology II Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations. (Co-requisites: BIOL-102 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring, Summer).
Introduction to Biology: Organisms and Ecosystems
This course serves as an introduction to biology for majors, focusing on the organismal, population, and ecosystem levels. Major themes include: evolution, structure and function, information flow and storage, pathways and transformations of energy and matter, and systems. The course also focuses on developing core competencies, such as applying the process of science, using quantitative reasoning, communicating, and collaborating. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Introduction to Biology Laboratory: Organisms and Ecosystems
This course is an introduction to laboratory work in life sciences. The laboratory work is project-based, and may involve field work as well as laboratory experiments. The course is designed to show the huge scope of biology and will encompass how some molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques connect with organismal and ecological biology. (Co-requisites: BIOL-123 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
Introduction to Biology: Molecules and Cells
This course serves as an introduction to biology for majors, focusing on the molecular and cellular level. Major themes include: evolution, structure and function, information flow and storage, pathways and transformations of energy and matter, and systems. The course also focuses on developing core competencies, such as applying the process of science, using quantitative reasoning, communicating, and collaborating. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Introduction to Biology Laboratory: Molecules and Cells
This course is an introduction to laboratory work in life sciences. The laboratory work is project based, and the subject matter of the project(s) may vary. The course is designed to show the huge scope of biology and will encompass some molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques connect with organismal and ecological biology. (Co-requisites: BIOL-124 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
This course will address the fundamental concepts of Molecular Biology. Class discussions, assignments, and projects will explore the structure and function of biologically important molecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) in a variety of cellular and molecular processes. Students in this course will explore the molecular interactions that facilitate the storage, maintenance and repair of DNA and processes that drive the flow of genetic information and evolution. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. The foundational molecular concepts in this course will be built upon in a variety of upper-level biology courses. (Prerequisite:(BIOL-101,BIOL-102,BIOL-103&BIOL-104) or (BIOL-121&BIOL-122) or (BIOL-123,BIOL-124,BIOL-125&BIOL-126)or equivalent courses with a grade of C- or higher.
Co-requisite:(CHMG-141&CHMG-145)or(CHEM-151&CHEM-155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Students must complete the following courses or their equivalent:
General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions. (Corequisite: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
An accelerated entry-level course designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Topics include measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding and structure, stoichiometry, equilibrium and acid-base chemistry. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to CHEM-BS or BIOCHEM-BS Major students.
Co-requisite: CHEM-155 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course presents an introduction to working in a modern chemistry laboratory. Students will perform exercises that will aid in the understanding of general laboratory practices, atomic and molecular structure, and Lewis acid base theory. Students will also become familiar with keeping a scientific laboratory notebook and writing scientific abstracts. Students will also utilize modern chemical instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to CHEM-BS or BIOCHEM-BS Major students.
Co-requisite: CHEM-151 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Fall).
General Chemistry for Engineers
This rigorous course is primarily for, but not limited to, engineering students. Topics include an introduction to some basic concepts in chemistry, stoichiometry, First Law of Thermodynamics, thermochemistry, electronic theory of composition and structure, and chemical bonding. The lecture is supported by workshop-style problem sessions. Offered in traditional and online format. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Introduction to Bioinformatics
This course will explore topics in the field of bioinformatics including tools and resources used by the discipline, including direct experience with the common user environment. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Introduction to Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of computer programming and apply it to solve real problems in the life sciences. Breaking down problems, common syntax, and thoughtful decisions on proper use of data structures will be emphasized. (UGRD-COS) Lab 2 (Fall).
Fundamental Bioinformatics Analysis
This course addresses the fundamental concepts of bioinformatics, focusing on computational analysis of nucleic acids and proteins. Utilization of computational programs for analysis of individual and multiple sequences for functional and evolutionary information will be discussed. The computational laboratory will highlight the applications available for analysis of molecular sequences. (Prerequisite: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOL-206 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2 (Fall).
Choose two of the following:
This is an introductory course in languages commonly used in bioinformatics and their application to biological data. We will investigate the use of multiple languages for processing sequence and "-omics" data, building analysis pipelines, integrating languages, managing a variety of biological data types, and providing effective interfaces to existing tools for analysis of these data. The course is largely based around live-code demonstration, in-class assisted coding assignments, and a student-designed final class project. (Prerequisites: BIOL-135 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2 (Spring).
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn more advanced techniques to solve life sciences modeling problems efficiently using parallelization and distributed computing. Common methods and thoughtful decisions on proper use of tools will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: BIOL-230 or equivalent course and students in COS Majors.) Lab 2 (Fall).
Ethical Issues in Biology and Medicine
This course explores major ethical issues in medicine and biology via lecture, readings, films, and presentation and discussion of cases. Students report on current events in ethics as researched on the internet or other news media. The first portion of the course is in a lecture format. Students learn about various theories of ethical analysis that are in current use. Subsequent classes are devoted to particular ethical areas. Relevant cases are given to the students for presentation in both written and oral formats. Any additional background material that may be required to discuss the cases is presented by the instructor and the remainder of the period is discussion based on the philosophical foundation provided at the beginning of the course. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102 and BIOL-103 and BIOL-104) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124 and BIOL-125 and BIOL-126) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Statistical Analysis for Bioinformatics
This course is an introduction to the probabilistic models and statistical techniques used in computational molecular biology. Examples include Markov models, such as the Jukes-Cantor and Kimura evolutionary models and hidden Markov models, and multivariate models use for discrimination and classification. (Prerequisites: (MATH-161 or MATH-173 or MATH-182) and (STAT-145 or MATH-251) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Bioinformatics Algorithms will focus on the types of analyses, tools, and databases that are available and commonly used in Bioinformatics. The labs will apply the lecture material in the analysis of real data through computer programming. (Prerequisites: BIOL-230 and BIOL-327 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2 (Fall).
High Throughput Sequencing Analysis
Students will utilize commonly used bioinformatics tools to analyze a real High Throughput Sequencing data set starting with raw data, proceeding with quality control, either aligning to a reference genome or performing de novo assembly, assessing differential gene expression determination, and finally annotating their results. Weekly lab reports will be required, and a group manuscript is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisite: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOL-206 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 2 (Spring).
Molecular Modeling and Proteomics
This course will explore two facets of protein molecules: separation and structure. The separation component will address common protein separation techniques such as 2D gel electrophoresis and chromatography. The structure component will follow the levels of protein structures, focusing on both experimental and computational methods to determine protein structures. Methods for determining primary structures such as Edman degradation method, Sanger method and mass spectrometry will be taught in lectures. Algorithms of predicting secondary structures will be introduced and implemented. Tertiary structure determination techniques such as NMR will be covered, with an emphasis on proton NMR, 13C NMR and multi-dimensional NMR. Homology modeling will be used to predict protein tertiary structures. (Prerequisite: BIOL-327 or equivalent course.) Lab 2 (Spring).
The course provides opportunities for students and faculty to develop and share professional interests while discussing current trends and developments in bioinformatics. Material for this course will be drawn from the current scientific literature. (This course is restricted to students in the BIOINFO-MS, BIOINFO-BS/MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).