Online bioinformatics course bids to address skills gap

The two week introduction to the subject has been developed by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences has announced the launch of its first online course in bioinformatics in partnership with FutureLearn, the leading social learning platform. The free online course will introduce the subject’s tools and share how researchers probe the genomes of disease-causing bacteria, such as MRSA and E. coli, to discover what makes the microbes dangerous.

With the millions of bacterial and other genomes sequenced every year, vast amounts of data are being produced that need to be analysed, explored and interpreted using bioinformatics. Hence the need for more trained bioinformaticians.

The course ‘Bacterial Genomes: From DNA to protein function using bioinformatics’ was developed by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute. It has been designed to teach researchers, students and health care professionals how to use online computational tools and databases, and to understand the roles bacterial genes play in health and disease. The free course starts on June 11th 2018 and is open for enrolment now.

“The free online course will share how researchers probe the genomes of disease-causing bacteria, such as MRSA and E. coli, to discover what makes the microbes dangerous.”

The two week introduction to bioinformatics is free, requires no previous experience in the area, and will take approximately five hours study time per week. 

Especially important for researchers and healthcare professionals who are using genomic data, the course will teach participants how to access DNA data and explore DNA and protein sequences. It will also share how researchers use these tools to decipher the roles bacterial genes play in biology and disease.

Dr Anna Protasio, researcher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: “There is a great need to develop more bioinformatics skills and expertise throughout the world, and current training courses are over-subscribed. This innovative, free, two week course is a fabulous way for people to try it out,and dip their toes in the bioinformatics waters.”