Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MRes)

Year of Entry

2017

Start date

October 2017

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

2 years part-time or 1 year full-time

Attendance

2 evenings a week part-time or 2 afternoon and 2 evenings a week full-time, October to September

This specialist postgraduate degree provides you with high-quality postgraduate training in bioinformatics, including a major research component. It provides a foundation for the development of essential bioinformatics knowledge and skills within the context of academic research, as well as an introduction to the emerging field of systems biology.

The programme is designed for students from a range of scientific backgrounds, who want to pursue research training in the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics and systems biology. It is relevant to those seeking a future career in both academia and industry.

On successful completion of this programme, students from all backgrounds should be able to:

  • understand the core concepts and statistical fundamentals that underpin the field of bioinformatics, most notably in the area of sequence analysis
  • program in Python, and design and query databases using SQL. Experience of more advanced programming practices (such as software testing and application development) will also be gained.
  • explain core biological concepts (such as genes and genomes, protein structure and function) and growth areas such as Next Generation Sequencing and (at least at an introductory level) systems modelling.

 

      Our research areas include:

      • computational structural bioinformatics, with a focus on the characterisation of macromolecular assemblies relevant to disease
      • analysis of next-generation sequencing data, both genomic and transcriptomic
      • immunoinformatics, in particular virus-host interactions and immune responses to protein therapeutics
      • developing bioinformatics and chemoinformatics methods to analyse metabolic pathways
      • structure-thermodynamic relationships, molecular simulation and inhibitor design
      • biomedical text mining
      • developing new computational methods that exploit data produced using various experimental techniques (e.g. cryo-EM, mass spectrometry, NMR and tomography).
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      Why study this course at Birkbeck?

      • Provides training in bioinformatics and systems biology - growth areas of science at the beginning of the third millennium. Both of these areas have grown dramatically in the last 2 decades.
      • Aims to meet the present needs of the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries for research and development.
      • Part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint initiative with University College London and a major biology research hub in the heart of London.
      • Access to online learning material, computer and visualisation laboratories and multimedia seminar rooms, equipped with graphics workstations.
      • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK, with a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
      • Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.
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      Course structure

      Over half of the programme is devoted to a practical project which includes programming and method development as well as the use of existing techniques such as genome analysis, analysis of next-generation sequencing data, molecular simulations and molecular modelling.

      Training is also provided in searching and evaluating data in literature and online databases, and the analytical and presentational skills required by the successful research scientist.

      You take 4 course units selected from a list of 8 options.

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