Bioinformatics is an exciting, emerging field at the intersection of the biological and computational sciences. The field encompasses the development and application of computational tools and techniques for the collection, analysis, management, and visualization of biological data, as well as modeling and simulation methods for the study of biological systems. The completion of the human genome sequence marked the beginning of a new era of biological research. Scientists began to systematically tackle gene function and complex biological processes by studying organisms at the global scale, from genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes to metabolomes and interactomes. Advances in such high-throughput biotechnologies and large-scale bioscience have highlighted the critical role of bioinformatics in modern biotechnology, drug discovery, disease diagnosis, and systems medicine.
The Masters in Bioinformatics is offered by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at Georgetown University Medical Center. The Department has a large, vibrant biotechnology program, a well-connected PhD program and a well-funded research program covering a wide range of research areas with a special focus on the System Biology of Environmental Effects and Gene Interactions. The Department is home to the Protein Information Resource (PIR), a bioinformatics resource that supports genomics, proteomics and systems biology research. The program is also supported by the Department of Oncology, Department of Biostatistics, Department of Computer Science, and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown.
The program includes coursework, hands-on computer labs, experience-building projects, and a bioinformatics internship. The 16-week internship provides opportunities to work with bioinformatics faculty on campus, or bioinformatics professionals off campus in leading Washington area bioinformatics, biomedical and biotechnology institutions, including:
- National Institute of Health (NIH), such as NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology(CBIIT) and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
- The J Craig Venter Institute (formerly TIGR)
- Children's National Medical Center
- Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB)
- National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), and
- Local biotechnology companies.