BIOS 477/877 Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution (3 credits)

  HOME Schedule Links MYUNL Moriyama Lab

[Last updated: January 14, 2022]

  Instructor: Etsuko Moriyama (School of Biological Sciences, 403 Manter Hall,
Time: Tue/Thu 11:00 am - 12:15 pm (Office hours: Tue/Thu after the class until 1:00 pm, or by appointment)
Classroom: 203 Manter Hall
Prerequisites: BIOS206 or parallel and CHEM 251 or equivalent; or permission. Basic statistics recommended.
Registration information: Call# 4125/4126
Course Web:

Textbook (optional): Marketa Zvelebil & Jeremy Baum. 2007. Understanding Bioinformatics. Garland Science, New York, NY. [Kindle version is available for rent or purchase]

Course description:
This introductory bioinformatics course covers major topics in bioinformatics including pairwise alignment, multiple alignment, similarity search, protein domain search, distance estimation, phylogenetic reconstruction, gene prediction, protein classification, and protein structural analysis. Fundamental concepts of molecular evolution and their relevance to bioinformatics studies will be emphasized.

Course preparation:
Students are expected to understand the basic molecular biology/genetics. This course does not include any review session for molecular biology and genetics. Here is a check list for basic molecular biology/genetics keywords. You are expected to be familiar with at least these keywords. Chapters 1 and 2 of the optional textbook (listed above) have nice description of molecular biology basics. Online materials for your self-study are also listed in this page.

Programming ability is not required nor expected. Students are required to use computers with internet connections for their homework assignments. Contact the instructor if computer support is required.

This course does not have its own computer lab component. Students will use some bioinformatics tools for their homework assignments by themselves. For more hands-on experience with various bioinformatics and genomics software, you may want to check BIOS427/827 Practical Bioinformatics Laboratory or BIOS337 Basic Applications of Bioinformatics (offered in the fall). For more adavansed topics including Next-Generation data analysis, check BIOS426/826 Computational Systems Biology (offered in the fall).

Course requirements and grading:
There is no in-class exams. Instead, multiple homework assignments will be given throughout the course, approximately one assignment/week. They will include:
  • manual computation of core algorithms and small sequence analysis using tools on the web
  • article reveiw for core bioinformatics methods and recent bioinformatics research
  • a small project comparing bioinformatics methods (for graduate students only)

— Complying the Fifteenth Week Policy — The final assignment will be given during the week before the 15th week. It will be due before the final week. This final assignment will cover the contents from the entire semester, and will be longer than the regular assignments.

Course home page and Canvas:
This website is used to post the information related to this course. It will be updated frequently. So check this site regularly. The Canvas course page will be also used to distribute email messages, assignments, grade information, etc.

IMPORTANT!! Check your email address on your Canvas account. If it is not correct, you may miss some important messages.