These courses are designed to provide students with practical, supervised research experience in the area of bioinformatics and computational biology. Each course will partner students with both biology mentors and bioinformatics mentors to foster a research experience in which the student works in a biological-science lab addressing research questions using computational approaches. Biology mentors can be chosen from across the University of Florida's many biology-related disciplines and should ultimately reflect the student's interests and aspirations. Bioinformatics mentorship will come from expert faculty in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science. With guidance from both biology and bioinformatics mentors, students will design and execute a bioinformatics-based research project.
Performance will be continuously evaluated through monthly seminars. In addition to the actual research project, students will be required to produce two additional deliverables. First, a written project proposal is required by the end of the second week of class, detailing the proposed research project. Second, a graded project summary and/or presentation is required at the end of the term. The summary should explain the scientific and technical aspects of the project and present the student's results in a scientific format.
Advanced independent studies is designed to build on the student’s previous bioinformatics research experience and expose the student to more challenging problems, greater technical expertise and increasingly rigorous aspects of experimental design and problem solving. Completion of these courses will provide students with strong, mentored research experience at the interface between computational and biological sciences, preparing them for competitive graduate-school and industry positions in bioinformatics.
It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to arrange a biology mentor to facilitate the independent research and provide subject-specific guidance and expertise. If you are not already working in a biology lab, expect that it can take a month or longer to find a suitable biology mentor and devise an appropriate project, so get started early. If you need assistance finding a biology mentor, contact Dr. De Crécy-Lagard or Dr. Bryan Kolaczkowski or Bryan Korithoski in the Microbiology and Cell Science Department the semester before you plan to enroll in Independent Studies in Bioinformatics, and we can help direct you toward a suitable mentor.