In recent years bioinformatics – using computational power to help process the massive swathes of data produced by modern experiments – has become an indispensable tool for research scientists.
Modern biology is hugely data intensive. In a typical experiment, the data collected for just a single sample often reaches thirty million or more individual pieces of information. If a person, or even a team of people, spent just one second looking at each individual piece of data, it would take over 8,333 hours (that’s 347 days!) of non-stop work to do the analysis. Obviously, that’s not efficient or feasible for many reasons, so harnessing the power of computation has become vital.
MDI Biological Laboratory is beyond pleased to be hosting the upcoming Bioinformatics T3: Train the Trainer from June 26 until July 3 – not only because this is a vital and expanding field or because of our passion for educating the next generation of amazing scientists – but because we are able to welcome folks back to our beautiful Salisbury Cove campus after 15 months!
The Bioinformatics T3 course supplies training in bioinformatics skills for college and university undergraduate science instructors, so that they can effectively integrate bioinformatics into their own science curricula, and help their students prepare for the 21st-century workplace.
This year’s short course is being held in-person and the eight attending undergraduate instructors will do hands-on tasks, like assembling and annotating a genome, using specific bioinformatics systems and computational languages. After the course, participants will be supported with instructional resources, video tutorials, case studies, access to bioinformatics software, and connected to other Bioinformatics Trainers so they can pass their new-found knowledge to undergraduate students at their home institution.
This year’s participants come from as far afield as Arkansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The three “local” attendees, Tim Breton, Ph.D. (UMaine Farmington); Lori Banks, Ph.D. (Bates College); and Andrea Tilden, Ph.D. (Colby College) are connected to the Maine-INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) – a federally-sponsored collaborative network of 14 Maine educational and research institutions led by MDIBL.) furthering the impact that MDIBL and INBRE makes for Maine’s biological sciences students.
Training in bioinformatics is a must for today’s student and our thanks go to the teaching faculty: Benjamin King, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Joel Graber, Ph.D. (MDIBL), Devin Thomas (University of New Hampshire) and Joseph Sevigny (University of New Hampshire).
MDIBL will also host the Reproducible and FAIR Bioinformatics Analysis of Omics Data course, for graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, and others who would like to incorporate bioinformatics into their biomedical research, virtually from July 3-17.
If you’d like to learn more about this fascinating area of science, we encourage you to read Dr. Joel Graber’s guest blog posts that cover the basics of bioinformatics.