BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
American Society for Microbiology DOE Joint Genome Institute

2008 ASM/BioQUEST Bioinformatics Institute

March 6 - 9, 2008      Washington, DC

Workshop participantsWe approach bioinformatics as an interdisciplinary field that depends on collaborative input from diverse groups of specialists to solve complex problems. This short course will use a research-like, problem-solving approach to model methods for analyzing molecular and genomic data as well as strategies for engaging students in deep learningopportunities. Bioinformatics impacts microbiology in many areas including medicine, agriculture, conservation, and evolution. This workshop will emphasize problem spaces in which relationships between evolutionary theory and the analysis of microbial genomes, molecular sequence and structural data provide a framework for approaching a wide range of biological problems. In addition to providing orientation to the causal bases for bioinformatics analyses we will introduce a philosophy of education: problem posing, problem-solving, and peer review/publication (BioQUEST's 3 P's).

Institute Purposes:
  • As a learning resource for faculty in microbiology who are interested in developing their understanding of the microbiological (as compared to the computational or mathematical) aspects of bioinformatics analyses;
  • As a forum for undergraduate teachers of bioinformatics to collaborate in the development of microbiology or bioinformatics courses and/or curricula;
  • As an opportunity to integrate mathematics into the undergraduate microbiology curriculum;
  • As a chance to develop a better idea of what questions microbiologists have with respect to teaching and learning elements of bioinformatics; and
  • As an opportunity for developing undergraduate research programs in bioinformatics.
Thematic Areas:
  • Evolutionary Bioinformatics: Orthology, Paralogy, Xenology, Molecular Phylogenetics;
  • BioQUEST's Curricular Philosophy;
  • Applied problem solving; and
  • Theoretical, mathematical and computational aspects that underlie bioinformatics.
ASM workshop

The lectures and hands-on problem solving sessions will address medical microbiology, virology, cell biology, and microbial ecology. Each full participant will receive a copy of our book Microbes Count!: Problem Posing, Problem Solving, and Persuading Peers in Microbiology which has seven bioinformatics labs that we will use in the workshop.