Biological & Medical Informatics Program
Ever wondered what it takes to discover a new drug, or to understand the underlying mechanism of a disease? It takes chemistry and biology, but it also takes computer science. The complexity of biological systems and vast amounts of data that new technologies produce require extensive computer skills.
Today, there is an acute need for graduates with just such a multidisciplinary background, both in academia and in industry. In industry, this need extends beyond biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and health care sectors, and is felt in such areas as homeland security and information technology.
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops and improves on methods for storing, retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data. A major activity in bioinformatics is to develop software tools to generate useful biological knowledge.
Bioinformatics has become an important part of many areas of biology. In experimental molecular biology, bioinformatics techniques such as image and signal processing allow extraction of useful results from large amounts of raw data. In the field of genetics and genomics, it aids in sequencing and annotating genomes and their observed mutations. It plays a role in the textual mining of biological literature and the development of biological and gene ontologies to organize and query biological data. It plays a role in the analysis of gene and protein expression and regulation. Bioinformatics tools aid in the comparison of genetic and genomic data and more generally in the understanding of evolutionary aspects of molecular biology. At a more integrative level, it helps analyze and catalogue the biological pathways and networks that are an important part of systems biology. In structural biology, it aids in the simulation and modeling of DNA, RNA, and protein structures as well as molecular interactions. Researchers affiliated with our program conduct research in systems biology, genomics, and proteomics.
Medical Informatics Overview
Medical informatics (also called Health Information Systems, health-care informatics, health informatics, clinical informatics, or biomedical informatics) is a discipline at the intersection of information science, computer science, and health care. It deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine. Health informatics tools include computers, clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems. It is applied to the areas of nursing, clinical care, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, occupational therapy, and biomedical research.