Bioinformatics FAQ

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We're in the process of moving the subsections to separate articles. Please pardon the mess.



What is bioinformatics?

What are the origins of bioinformatics?

What are the most common bioinformatics programs?

What are the most common bioinformatics technologies?

How are data analyzed in bioinformatics?

Fields Related to Bioinformatics

What is biophysics?

What is computational biology?

What is medical informatics?

What is cheminformatics?

What is genomics?

What is mathematical biology?

What is proteomics?

What is pharmacogenomics?

What is pharmacogenetics?

Books: Can you recommend any bioinformatics books?

See this article.

Centres of Bioinformatics Activity: Where is bioinformatics done?

The biggest and best source of bioinformatics links I have encountered is the Genome Web at the Rosalind Franklin Centre for Genomics Research at the Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK. Most of the links below come from that resource. My list is necessarily limited by comparison.

Research Centers

Sequencing Centers

Standard Centers

Virtual Centers for Bioinformatics Activity

Online Resources: What bioinformatics Websites are there?





Collections of Tools



Education: Where can I study Bioinformatics...

This section is not complete, but contributions to broaden its coverage are welcome. Please do not direct questions about eligibility, course quality or admissions policy to me, but to ask the individual institutions directly. Use the links to obtain contact details. If an institution doesn't provide telephone numbers/email addresses or snailmail details on its Web site it doesn't deserve your patronage.

This resource focuses on complete, full-time degree programmes rather than on individual study modules. Curating a list of the latter would be a full-time job. You can go to other places, however, if you are looking for short courses. Thanks to various [#acknowledgementsLinks contributors], including Wentian Li who pointed me to this list at Rockefeller which is mirrored at various other sites. And to Humberto Ortiz Zuazaga for mailing me a link to the ICSB, where you can find this list.

If you are interested in U.S. programmes, here's a list from Curtin and here's a list from Stanford. Thanks to Amelie Stein who also supplied some of the individual entries in this section.

Those wanting to find programmes in the Asia Pacific region could have a look at this resource maintained by the Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network APBioNet. Thanks to Sentausa.

In the UK The Bioinformatics Resource (part of the BBSRC's CCP11 project) project maintains (among many other resources) lists of (mainly) British Masters and PhDs in bioinformatics. If you have any suggestions or updates please [/sendmessage.php? contact] me with them. You can publicize your course and offer a public service at the same time.


The Americas




Distance or Correspondence Courses

Careers: How can I become a bioinformatician?

Getting Involved

Bioinformatics Jobs

Practical tips

This section includes some simple rules-of-thumb to apply when performing common bioinformatics tasks.

Finding a sequence

Aligning two sequences

Predicting the functions of a gene

Predicting the structure of a sequence

Simulating a biomolecule


Glossary of bioinformatics terms

Here I attempt to define some common terms in bioinformatics. I have tried to balance clarity, brevity and rigour. Let me know if I let one of these priorities over-ride the others.

Sequence Alignment

DNA Array



Scoring Matrix

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