By contrast, Larry Helseth, PhD, a translational bioinformatician at NorthShore University HealthSystem who teaches the Introduction to Bioinformatics course, noted that his course is “not a coding course. It’s a class trying to give you enough background that if you go on to a career in bioinformatics you’re comfortable working in that environment,” he said.
In particular, he explained how students in his class would learn about the basic software used to interpret genetic sequence data in humans and how to understand the effects an individual change in DNA has on the final protein.
As a co-instructor for the Capstone Project Implementation and Writing courses, Matthew Dapas, PhD, draws on his extensive experience analyzing different forms of clinical and biological data to help MScBMI students develop project-specific analytical frameworks and perform computational statistics.
Speaking about the capstone project in particular, Matthew called it “the culmination of the knowledge students gain during the program and intersects at the point where they start applying their knowledge to a project that’s based in the real world. It’s an incredible opportunity to gain experience in the field you’re interested in.”
Concluding the instructor presentations was Michael Baltasi, PhD, who in his role as executive director at the UChicago Center for Research Informatics oversees the financial and strategic planning, business development, and educational programming. Drawing on his experience as a financial analyst and in managerial roles in high tech and higher education settings, Michael teaches Leadership and Management for Informatics, a course designed to focus on the business problems of informatics.
“Leadership and Management for Informatics is a high-energy, high-impact course,” he says. “It gathers up everything you do in all the other courses and creates a kind of mini-capstone. You’re bringing together not just the informatics and the technology, you’re also bringing together the financial piece, the marketing piece, and you’re developing an entire business proposal solution. The aims to give you that kind of broad and encompassing decision-making perspective.”
With the presentations concluded, the second phase of the evening began. Those curious to learn more had the opportunity to mingle over snacks and refreshments while discussing informatics issues with the instructors. Program staff were present to help answer questions about the MScBMI program and directed attendees to MScBMI online information sessions and application workshops for more information.