Bioinformatics

Professor in charge:  Harri Lähdesmäki

Extent: 60 credits

Abbreviation: BIOINFO

Code: SCI3058

Objectives

The Bioinformatics major in the Life Science Technologies programme is designed to give a strong competence in bioinformatics and computational systems biology. The Bioinformatics major provides robust background in probabilistic modeling, machine learning and data science to understand the methodological basis of the commonly used bioinformatics and computational biology methods. The Bioinformatics major also gives skills and tools to develop new computational methods and models and to apply them to real world biomolecular data. Computer practicals are part of most courses ensuring understanding of both theory and practice of the methods. Biological background or statistical data analysis expertise can be further broadened with an elective minor.

State-of-the-art methods for analyzing next-generation sequencing, microarray and other 'omics data as well as biological networks are part of the curriculum. Examples of research questions studied include predicting drug-target interactions, reconstructing biological networks, finding associations between genotypes and diseases, and modelling dynamical behavior of complex biological pathways.

Content and structure

For the major (60 ECTS credits) the students have to take the common courses of the Life Science Technologies programme (15 cr), mandatory major subject courses (35 cr) and choose optional courses (10 cr) from the course list given below. To complete the degree, students take language studies (3 cr) and elective courses (minimum 27 cr). For elective courses, a minor subject, an international mobility period or an internship is recommended.

 

Code

Course

Credits

Period/Year

Compulsory courses of the programme (15 credits):

MS-E2115

Experimental and Statistical Methods in Biological Sciences

5

I-II/1

JOIN-E3000

Life Science Technologies Project Course

10

III-V/1

Compulsory courses of the major (35 credits):

CHEM- E8120

Cell Biology**

5

II/1

CS-E5860

Computational Genomics

5

I/1

CS-E5870

High-throughput Bioinformatics

5

II/1

CS-E5880

Modelling Biological Networks

5

III/1

CS-E5890

Statistical Genetics and Personalised Medicine

5

IV-V/1

CS-E3210

Machine Learning: Basic Principles

5

I/1

CS-E4880

Machine Learning in Bioinformatics

5

I-II/2

Optional courses of the major (choose 10 credits):

CS-E4840

Information Visualization

5

IV/1

CS-E4830

Kernel Methods in Machine Learning

5

I-II/2

CS-E4820

Machine Learning: Advanced Probabilistic Methods

5

III-IV/1

CS-E3190

Principles of Algorithmic Techniques

5

I-II/1

CS-E5710

Bayesian Data Analysis

5

I-II/I or 2

CHEM-E8125

Synthetic Biology

5

IV-V/1

CHEM-E3170

Systems Biology

5

IV-V/1

 **Students with no or little background in biology can replace obligatory course CHEM-E8120 Cell Biology with course CHEM-C2300 Cell and Molecular Biology. The language of instruction of CHEM-C2300 is Finnish, but it can be taken in English as a self-study course. The change must be agreed with the professor of the major.

Recommendations for elective studies for bioinformatics

For the elective studies to accompany the bioinformatics major, it is recommended to take a minor subject or an international mobility period or an internship. The autumn period of second year is the recommended time period for elective studies.

Recommended minors

The following minors given in Aalto University are recommended:

Life Science Technologies programme minors:

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biosensing and -electronics
  • Complex systems
  • Human Neuroscience and -technology

Computer, Communications, and Information Science programme minors:

  • Machine Learning and Data Mining

In addition, University of Helsinki (www.helsinki.fi) offers courses suitable for elective studies in

  • Algorithmic bioinformatics
  • Molecular biosciences
  • Biomedicine

Courses offered by University of Helsinki can be taken through the Flexible Study Rights (JOO) scheme (www.joopas.fi).

Recommendations for international mobility

An international mobility period of approximately one semester is recommended. The suitable timing for mobility is Autumn period of the second study year.

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