Bioinformatics Focus Area

What is Bioinformatics? 

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for modeling and understanding biological data and systems that are typically represented by large amounts of data.  Bioinformatics is a combination of computer science, statistics, informatics and engineering to analyze and interpret biological and genomic data.   The range of Bioinformatics spans the analysis of  molecular data to quantifying clinical, imaging and diagnostic data for personalized medicine and healthcare.  Bioinformatics is used for the identification of candidate genes to better understand the genetic basis  of disease, unique adaptations, and differences between populations.  This also includes analysis of gene expression, systems biology, and understanding the evolutionary history of life.  In structural biology,  it aids in the simulation and modeling of DNA,RNA, 3-D protein structures as well as biomolecular interactions.  With rapid advances in gene therapy, genetic engineering, gene editing and drug discovery, the field of Bioinformatics provides a diverse range of opportunities and career paths for engineers.

Bioinformatics Curriculum Map | Sample Four-Year Plan 9/02/21

Bioinformatics Required Courses  
 Computers in Engineering
 Intro to Software Design
 Bioinformatics Techniques (fall semsester, odd years)
 Computational Genomics (spring semester, even years)
Bioinformatics Electives (please consult this guide when selecting electives that have machine learning content)
Engineering Topics:
 Big Data Analytics
BME:4310      Computational Biochemistry (fall semester, even years)
ECE:5330       Graph Algorithms & Combinatorial Optimization
 Knowledge Discovery
 Machine Learning
Other Suggestions:
ANTH:2320      Origins of Human Infectious Disease
 Fundamental Genetics
CHEM:5431      Statistical Thermo Dynamics (spring semester, even years)
CHEM:5436      Electrical Structure & Informatics Chemistry (check MyUI for offerings)
 Large Data Analysis
 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
 Fundamentals of Software Engineering
 Software Engineering Languages and Tools

Note: At least two electives (6 s.h.) must be from the list of Engineering Topics. An additional 21 s.h. of electives are also required (suggested electives list, minor, or certificate courses).
Please check MyUI for the most up to date course offerings and pre/corequisites.
Terminology from “Track” to “Focus Area” was updated in the website text on 03/16/21

Bioinformatics Academic Advisors

Terry Braun

Thomas Casavant

Michael Schnieders


Link to previous Bioinformatics Focus Area Course Map