For some, the longer days of summer mean more time to work on their tan or linger by the pool. But for more ambitious personalities of the bioinformatics community, the summer months offer the opportunity to brush up on the newest developments in the quickly moving field. A sampling of some of this year’s summer courses follows.
• The UK’s Medical Research Council Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Center is offering a three-day bioinformatics course targeted at employees of commercial organizations July 1-3 and November 11-13.
Participants will be given an overview of current bioinformatics research tools and hands-on experience using web-based, publicly available software. Subjects covered include Internet data resources, nucleotide sequence alignment, gene identification, sequence similarity searching, and protein functional analysis.
The course will be held on the Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK, and will cost £975 ($1,430) per person. For further information, contact Karen Hampson at [email protected].
• Undergraduates and advanced high school students will have the chance to get a head start on their bioinformatics skills at Johns Hopkins University’s Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences online course, Computers in Molecular Biology, July 1 ¯ August 9.
The course is derived from Hopkins’ master’s degree in biotechnology program, and is geared toward lab scientists seeking to improve their data retrieval and analysis skills “and for managers seeking greater understanding of the bioinformatics processes,” according to the university. Classes are held in the computer lab and include software setup and usage, sequence analysis over the Internet, and the interpretation of results. Bob Lessick, a biology postdoc at Hopkins, will teach the course, which costs $1,490. Further information: www.jhu.edu/summer/vu/online_biology.html.
• The Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop Series is offering two classes this summer.
Bioinformatics: Introduction to Programming (www.bioinformatics.ca/prog_bio.php) will be held in Montreal July 15-27. Registration is C$2,500 (US$1,600). The course is designed for biologists with no formal programming experience, and will cover Java programming and the BioJava toolkit, object-oriented principles, automated searches of the NCBI and other bioinformatics databases, and other topics.
The second course, Developing the Tools (www.bioinformatics.ca/tools.php), will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, August 9-16. Registration is C$1,500 (US$957). This course, designed for those with a computer science degree or equivalent, addresses parsing bioinformatics data, manipulating existing biological objects and creating new biological objects, modifying and extending existing bioinformatics software tools, and developing new bioinformatics applications.