551-1295-00L  Introduction to Bioinformatics: Concepts and Applications

SemesterAutumn Semester 2014
LecturersW. Gruissem, K. Bärenfaller, A. Caflisch, G. Capitani, J. Fütterer, M. Robinson, A. Wagner
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractStorage, handling and analysis of large datasets have become essential in biological research. The course will introduce students to a number of applications of bioinformatics in biology. Freely accessible software tools and databases will be explained and explored in theory and praxis.
ObjectiveIntroduction to Bioinformatics I: Concepts and Applications (formerly Bioinformatics I) will provide students with the theoretical background of approaches to store and retrieve information from large databases. Concepts will be developed how DNA sequence information can be used to understand phylogentic relationships, how RNA sequence relates to structure, and how protein sequence information can be used for genome annotation and to predict protein folding and structure. Students will be introduced to quantitative methods for measuring gene expression and how this information can be used to model gene networks. Methods will be discussed to construct protein interaction maps and how this information can be used to simulate dynamic molecular networks.

In addition to the theoretical background, the students will develop hands-on experiences with the bioinformatics methods through guided exercises. The course provides students from different backgrounds with basic training in bioinformatics approaches that have impact on biological, chemical and physics experimentation. Bioinformatics approaches draw significant expertise from mathematics, statistics and computational science.

Although "Intoduction to Bioinformatics I" will focus on theory and praxis of bioinformatics approaches, the course provides an important foundation for the course "Introduction to Bioinformatics II: Fundamentals of computer science, modeling and algorithms" that will be offered in the following semester.
ContentBioinformatics I will cover the following topics:

From genes to databases and information
BLAST searches
Prediction of gene function and regulation
RNA structure prediction
Gene expression analysis using microarrays
Protein sequence and structure databases
WWW for bioinformatics
Protein sequence comparisons
Proteomics and de novo protein sequencing
Protein structure prediction
Cellular and protein interaction networks
Molecular dynamics simulation