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The ‘MSc in Bioinformatics’ and its web site were presented at the 10th Conference of the Hellenic Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (HSCBB) – HSCBB15, featured alongside other Greek Masters programs in the fields of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology:
Presentation of the Bioinformatics-related postgraduate study programs in Greece from their Directors
Constantinos Vorgias, Elias Manolakos, Polydefkis Hatzopoulos, Zoi Lygerou, Elias Zintzaras, Pantelis Bagos
Abstract: Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field, placed at the interface of Biology, Mathematics and Computer Science. In this work, we tried for the first time to investigate the current situation of Bioinformatics education in Greece. We searched the online resources of all relevant University Departments for Bioinformatics or relevant courses. We found that all the Departments of Biological Sciences include in their curricula courses dedicated to Bioinformatics, but this is not the case for Departments of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Medical Schools. Despite the fact that large Universities played a crucial role in establishing Bioinformatics research and education in Greece, we observe that Universities of the periphery invest in the field, by including more relevant courses in the curricula and appointing faculty members trained in the field. In order for us to “triangulate” we didn’t confine ourselves to online resources and descriptive statistics but we also included interviews so as to have a more spherical view of the subject under discussion. The interviews provided useful insights regard-ing the teaching methods used by bioinformatics tutors, their attitudes and the difficulties they encounter. The tutors mentioned also the material that they choose, the audience’s attraction techniques and the feedback they receive.
The ‘MSc in Bioinformatics’ and its web site will be presented at the 25th Panhellenic Annual Meeting of the Hellenic Society for Biological Sciences. The abstract of the presentation follows:
BIOINFORMATICS POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS: ANNOUNCING A NEW MASTERS PROGRAMME FUNDED BY THE HELLENIC MINISTRY OF EDUCATION (EPEAEK II)
Bashir, A., Alexopoulos, I., Liakopoulos, Th., Bagos, P., Iconomidou, V., Katsaloulis, P., Litou, Z., Papandreou, N., Pavlou, K., Promponas, V, Hamodrakas, I. and Hamodrakas, S.
Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Athens 157 01
Given the pace of development in bioinformatics and the urgent need to assemble a worldwide collective effort to convert the raw data collected from the various genome projects into meaningful and useful biological information, there is a growing need for highly specialized personnel in the field. The traditional degrees offered by the Hellenic Universities do not at the moment fulfil this need and there is room for a postgraduate programme suitable for current science graduates giving them a fast track to the tools and knowledge needed for active research in both academia and industry. The postgraduate bioinformatics programme at the University of Athens (UOA) takes an interdisciplinary approach and brings together some of the leading figures from the Hellenic bioinformatics community. Teaching staff are selected from existing UOA departments including Cell Biology and Biophysics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Informatics. In addition to these inter-departmental collaborations the programme takes personnel from other Universities/research centres making this a truly unique and timely effort. The programme leading to the qualification of M.Sc from the UOA takes the form of a three semester taught. The first semester covering the basics of molecular biology and computational methods prepares the students for a more detailed investigation of specific bioinformatics tools in the second semester where students are also given a choice of optional courses to customise their specific interests. The third semester is concluded by a research project. Potential applicants, for the first intake to begin in October 2003, are invited to view the information and admissions procedure which we have assembled together on the World Wide Web at the URL: http://bioinformatics.biol.uoa.gr/msc/