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Our Courses

BNFO 201 - Computing Skills and Concepts for Bioinformatics Syllabus

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MATH 151 or 200 with a minimum grade of C, or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within the one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. An introduction to computation in bioinformatics, including basics of data representation, and computer organization, as well as programming in PERL or other appropriate scripting language. Bioinformatics applications in the literature will be discussed. Guest speakers will share bioinformatics career experiences and opportunities.

BNFO 251 - Phage Discovery I - Syllabus

An exploratory laboratory where students will purify phage from soil, visualize phage using electron microscopy and isolate genomic material for nucleic acid sequencing.

BNFO 252 - Phage Discovery II - Syllabus

An exploratory laboratory where students will learn about the genomes of viruses infecting bacteria. Students will be given the genome sequence of a novel virus, which will be the basis for a series of computer-based analyses to understand the biology of the virus and to compare it with other viruses that infect the same host.

BNFO 292 - Independent Study

A course designed to provide an opportunity for independent readings of the bioinformatics literature under supervision of a staff member.

BNFO 300 Molecular Biology Through Discovery - Syllabus

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The course aims to expand students' "ignorance," a prerequisite for success in science, by confronting them with the interface between the known and the unknown, stressing the process by which the boundary is traversed. It will do so using as the raw material the study of molecular biology, an essential groundwork for bioinformatics.

BNFO 301 - Introduction to Bioinformatics - Syllabus

Introduction to the basic concepts, tools and possibilities of bioinformatics, the analysis of large bodies of biological information. The course stresses problem solving and integrative projects, making extensive use of exercises in class that draw on bioinformatics resources on the Web and on local servers.

BNFO 380 - Introduction to Mathematical Biology

An introduction to mathematical biology. Various mathematical modeling tools will be covered and implemented in a range of biological areas. Additionally, the collaborative research process will be presented and discussed.

BNFO 420 - Applications in Bioinformatics - Syllabus

Students will integrate biological, computational and quantitative skills to complete bioinformatics projects in a professional team-problem-solving context. Course includes explicit instruction in the conduct of research as well as a review of applicable strategies, methods and technologies. Written and oral presentation is emphasized, with systematic feedback and practice opportunities provided.

BNFO 440 - Computational Methods in Bioinformatics

An introduction to mathematical and computational methods in bioinformatics analysis. Topics include but are not limited to operating systems, interfaces, languages, SQL, search algorithms, string manipulation, gene sequencing, simulation and modeling, and pattern recognition. Students will be exposed to Maple, Matlab, SPSS, E-cell, BioPerl, Epigram and C as part of the requirements of this course.

BNFO 491 - Topics in Bioinformatics

An introductory, detailed study of a selected topic in bioinformatics unavailable as an existing course. Students will find specific topics and prerequisites for each special topics course listed in the Schedule of Classes. If multiple topics are offered, students may elect to take more than one

BNFO 492 - Independent Study

Projects should include data collection and analysis, learning bioinformatics-related research techniques, and mastering experimental procedures, all under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A final report must be submitted at the completion of the project.

BNFO 497 - Research and Thesis

Projects should include data collection and analysis, learning bioinformatics-related research techniques, and mastering experimental procedures, all under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A written thesis of substantial quality is required at the completion of the research.

BNFO 501 - Introduction to Physical Implementation of Databases - Syllabus

Basic searching and sorting algorithm design, and advanced data structures including hashing and B-trees.

BNFO 505 - Essentials of Statistics in Bioinformatics

An intensive course designed for graduate students in either the biology/genomics or the computational science tracks of the bioinformatics program, aimed at providing the background in statistical concepts necessary for them to participate in graduate-level courses involving statistics. The course will focus on areas of particular interest in bioinformatics, including probability, combinatorics and linear models.

BNFO 507 - Essentials of Molecular Biology in Bioinformatics

An intensive course designed for graduate students in either the quantitative/statistics or the computational science tracks of the bioinformatics program, aimed at providing the background in molecular biology necessary for them to participate in graduate-level courses involving molecular biology. The course will focus on areas of particular interest in bioinformatics, including DNA, RNA and protein synthesis, gene structure, function and regulation, protein structure, activity and regulation, and the tools by which formation in these areas has been discovered.

BNFO 508 - Introduction to Bioinformatics Research

Introduction to all active research programs in bioinformatics. Presentations of research programs by investigators and rotation of students through track-appropriate faculty labs to gain direct exposure to individual research projects.

BNFO 540 - Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics - Syllabus

The basic principles and methodologies of molecular biology and genetics are applied to genome organization, replication, expression, regulation, mutation and reorganization. Emphasis will be placed on a broad introduction to and integration of important topics in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems.

BNFO 591 - Genome Biology - Syllabus

Understanding genomes, sequences, and how all genes contribute to life, as opposed to single genes. Student will learn how to find literature, read research reports, analyze data, and integrate information into knowledge using Wikipedia.

BNFO 591/691 - Biology and Applications of Stem Cells - Syllabus

Stem cells have garnered attention in the public eye due to their enormous potential. Multiple reports have demonstrated the propensity of embryonic and adult stem cells to differentiate into specialized cell types. This course will provide students the opportunity to explore recent advances in stem cell biology and applications. The course content will address different types of stem cells, mechanisms involved in determining different stem cell states and fates, regenerative biomedical applications and ethical considerations.

BNFO 621 - Business and Entrepreneurship - Syllabus - Learning Objectives

Consists of presentations on the core concepts of business, including intellectual property, patents and patent law, entrepreneurship, launching a "start up," raising capital, financial management, marketing, managerial accounting, planning, and project management. Course includes lectures and discussions on core concepts of business and their real-world application. Students will develop a business plan and/or a plan to manage a research project. Business case studies and team projects with presentations are required. Focus is on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

BNFO 637 - Network Biology - Syllabus

Covers in detail networks as a basic tool for the systems biology approach to biology and medicine, particularly on the molecular level. Qualitative and quantitative aspects of biological systems and processes will be identified and analyzed. The course focuses on the biochemical networks formed in the cell from genes, proteins and metabolites. Network structure and dynamics will be characterized proceeding from graph theory and other mathematical methods. Essential part of the course is the practical work with basic software for building, manipulation and analysis of biological networks, as well as for identifying structural motifs and modules, and comparative network organisms (human, drosphila, yeast, C. elegans).

BNFO 653 - Advanced Molecular Genetics - Syllabus

An advanced course on contemporary bioinformatics. Topics covered include the principles and practice of DNA, RNA and protein sequence analysis, computational chemistry and molecular modeling, expression array analysis and pharmacogenomics. The course includes lectures, reading, computer lab, homework problem sets and projects.