Do you have an interest in both biology and computer science and just can’t seem to choose between the two? Would you like to use the tools of mathematics and computer science to analyze, explore and make inferences from data — without having to collect the data yourself?
If your answer is “yes” to either question, then the Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics might be perfect for you. Bioinformatics is a combination of biology and computer science, with a substantial dose of statistical methods. In more technical terms, bioinformatics refers to the retrieval and analysis of biochemical and biological data using mathematics and computer science. (http://dictionary.reference.com) The need for scientists in this field has exploded because of the Human Genome Project.
Bioinformatics Job Growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for bioinformatics scientists was about $71,000 in 2011. Expected job growth for scientists in this category is predicted to be 31 percent between 2010 and 2020.
“In 2013, Monsanto and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced expansions totaling $445 million, which will create 775 new jobs in the St. Louis area. A number of these jobs will require bioinformatics skills and coursework that are often lacking in graduates from local, small liberal arts colleges. Smaller genomics companies in St. Louis are also on the rise, and as these companies mature, they will require a continuous influx of bioinformaticians that want to start their careers in St. Louis. I view Fontbonne’s idea to establish a Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics as an excellent strategic move that will benefit its students and the university as a whole.”
~ Rob Alba, Ph.D., Functional Genomics Lead, Monsanto Company
Bioinformatics Program Highlights
- Study with and participate in research alongside professors on topics ranging from cancer to soybeans to the Zika virus.
- Take classes that are equal parts theory and hands-on experience.
- Work in labs equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software.
- Enjoy small class sizes and get all of the personal attention you deserve.
- Intern with major St. Louis companies.
- Be part of the only undergraduate bioinformatics program in Eastern Missouri.
- Bioinformatics programmer
- Project manager
- Database developer and administrator
- Technical assistant and technical sales representative (could require additional schooling)
- Employers include: academic research labs, hospitals, government agencies, the software industry, or the bioinformatics service industry
- Preparation for medical or other graduate programs
Bioinformatics Course Samples
- CIS 250
Algorithms and Data Structures4 credits
Introduction to the principles of algorithm analysis, abstract data types covering stacks, queues, lists, trees and recursion, algorithms of sorting and searching. Additional topics include graph algorithms, text compression, dynamic programming, and randomized algorithms. Prerequisite: CIS 210. SP
- BFN 484
Internship in Bioinformatics3 credits
Provides a supervised, off-campus, field-based experience in bioinformatics, at an approved site specifically related to the career goals of the student. The purpose of the course is to integrate and apply academic knowledge and skills to the professional environment. Credits are determined by the number of hours that a student works at the internship site. Offered on P/F basis. Prerequisite: BNF 210. Offered as needed.
- BFN 210
Sequence, Evolution and Structure3 credits
Provides an overview of bioinformatics, covering a variety of techniques used to analyze biological sequences. Topics include public sequence databases, Basic Local Alignment Research Tool (BLAST), pairwise and multiple sequence alignment, molecular phylogeny and evolution, protein analysis and protenics, microarray expression profiling. The code of ethics for professionals in bioinformatics will be addressed. Prerequisites BIO 212 and BNF 200. FA (Odd)
Bioinformatics Career Opportunities
Questions? Contact our Office of Admission: 314-889-1400 or 1-800-205-5862 | email@example.com