The Bioinformatics research group was initially formed by computer science researchers having an interest in biology and the research has been focused towards the development and application of algorithms for the analysis of biological data sets.
The group's research includes development of algorithms, databases and software, as well as solving biological research problems with such tools. An important strategy for the group is to work in close collaboration with researchers from other groups within the University as well as at other universities and with researchers situated at our industrial partners.
This gives us access to interesting experimental data and ensures that the research is of high relevance in terms of biological applications. The most important research areas within the group today are the use of bioinformatics in studies of stem cell differentiation, toxicity testing using stem cells, discovery and evaluation of biomarkers for cancer, and the role of miRNAs in genetic dysregulation. The research is focused on the analysis of data from large-scale experimental studies using the microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies.
The Bioinformatics research group's primary missions and goals
- develop new algorithms for the analysis of large-scale datasets from transcriptomic, proteomics, genomics, molecular and signalling pathways and networks.
- apply machine learning and other advanced computational techniques to analyse large-scale biological data sets.
- discover and statistically evaluate molecular biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and classification of various diseases.
- apply bioinformatic methods to discover and evaluate biomarkers for other applications, such as stem cell differentiation and cancer development.
Education connected to the research
At the University we have a 1-year masters program in bioinformatics, which provides students with a broad specialist competence in the area. The program also aims to develop the students' ability to solve problems related to biology, to plan and carry out analyses on molecular and biomedical data, and to collect, process and critically judge results from such data. The curriculum contains courses focusing on analysis of large-scale biological data, bioinformatics algorithms as well as research and development in bioinformatics.
There is a pronounced focus on computer science and statistics in the program, with courses in programming as well as the statistical language R, and traditional lectures are mixed with computer laboratory work.
Students will learn how to use various computerized tools for compiling and analyzing data from research projects and biological experiments, and to use various methods for analysis, e.g., sequence and gene expression analysis.
In 2013, the Swedish higher education authority (UKÄ) evaluated the masters program and judged it to have a "high quality", with a high achievement for all examination goals (UKÄ, reg-nr 411-311-13).