The completion of the human genome sequence marked the beginning of a new era of biological research. Scientists have begun to systematically tackle gene functions and other complex regulatory processes by studying organisms at the global scales. Advances in high-throughput biotechnologies and large-scale bioscience have further enabled modeling and simulation over a multitude of length, time and biological scales from biomolecules, cells, tissues and organs to organisms and population. With the enormous volume of data being produced, biology is becoming an increasingly quantitative science. Computational approaches, in combination with experimental methods, have become essential for generating novel hypotheses, deriving new scientific knowledge, and driving discovery and innovation.
Fundamental to the modern day biological studies and key to the basic understanding of complex biological systems, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology is impacting the science and technology of fields ranging from agricultural and environmental sciences to pharmaceutical and medical sciences. The research requires close collaboration among multi-disciplinary teams of researchers in quantitative sciences, life sciences, and their interfaces.
The Master’s program in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology aims to train the next generation of researchers and professionals who will play a key role in multi- and interdisciplinary teams, bridging life sciences and computational sciences. The program is administered through its academic home, the Department of Computer & Information Sciences (CIS), and is coordinated by the newly established Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (CBCB). The scientific curriculum is built upon the research and educational strength from departments across the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Earth, Ocean & Environment.
A special feature of the program is the close collaboration among participating Departments across Colleges. Faculty from the various participating disciplines in these departments allow graduate students to gain knowledge and professional expertise in bioinformatics and computational biology in multi- and interdisciplinary teams.
Another feature of the program is its coordination through the Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (CBCB), which provides extensive bioinformatics resources and capabilities at the BioIT Center at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) and the Protein Information Resource (PIR). The BioIT Center provides both computing infrastructure and cyberknowledgeable personnel with significant hardware, software and professional support for computational and data management needs. The computing infrastructure includes a High-Performance Computer Cluster, a Database Server Cluster, and an immersive 3-D Visualization Studio. The PIR is a public bioinformatics resource that provides integrated databases and analytical tools to support genomics, proteomics and systems biology research. The PIR web sites are freely accessible by researchers worldwide with over 4 million hits per month from over 100,000 unique sites, while the FTP sites serve over 1 terabyte of data download monthly.