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New Workshops, Courses Offer Quick Way to Build Bioinformatics Muscles


Need to brush up on Blast? Hone your hidden Markov models? Fine-tune your phylogenetic trees? For those looking to improve their bioinformatics skills, a crop of upcoming courses and workshops promises to satisfy the learning needs of newbies and graybeards alike. A roundup of recently announced workshops follows:

The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) is holding a Bioinformatics Grid Workshop January 28-30 in Research Triangle Park, NC.

The goal of the workshop, according to SURA, is to “provide a forum for discussion of the information infrastructure that will be needed to support world-class efforts in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and related sciences, [and] how this need might be met by a SURA Bioinformatics Grid and the current NIH and NSF programs that fund computing and data grids.”

Further information: biogrid/biogrid_announce.html.


Bioinformatrix, a Ghent, Belgium-based bioinformatics consulting firm, will be hosting an intensive bioinformatics course on February 7 in San Diego. The course will cover the common bioinformatics algorithms and tools available and how to use them, dynamic programming and substitution matrices, methods for database searching and phylogenetics, protein modeling, and machine learning.

Further information:


Cybrid, a Harrisburg, Penn.-based IT consulting company, is presenting a four-day, beginner-to-intermediate-level workshop in bioinformatics over two weekends: February 22-23 and March 1-2, 2003 in San Francisco. The registration fee is $649.

Topics to be covered include pair-wise and multiple alignment methods, building phylogenetic trees, hidden Markov models, clustering and filtering tools, and structure prediction tools, among others.

Further information:


The Laboratory for Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) in the computer science department of Kansas State University is hosting a workshop called, “Learning Graphical Models for Computational Genomics,” on August 9, 2003, in Acapulco, Mexico.

The one-day course will explore genomics applications of approaches such as probabilistic reasoning, graphical modeling, and constraint-based knowledge representation. Research areas include functional genomics, biological pathway modeling, proteomics, and other bioinformatics problems.

Further information: Workshops/IJCAI-2003-Bioinformatics/.


The universities of Leeds and Manchester are developing a new online Master’s course in bioinformatics, which is scheduled to start in October 2003.

The MSc course will be accessible to students around the world via the UK government-backed company UkeU, which was established in May 2001 to develop and support online degree courses from UK universities for students and businesses worldwide.

The University of Manchester already offers a web-based MSc in bioinformatics, organized into eight modules: Introduction to Molecular Biology for Computer Scientists, Introduction to Bioinformatics, Microarray Data Analysis, Theory and Applications in Bioinformatics, C for Bioinformatics, Java, Biocomputing, and Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with UML.

The module fee for 2002/2003 is £600 (US$970).

Further information: bodington/opensite/bioscience/info/b3bs/mandq/.

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