June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Biological & Agricultural
12.936.1 - 12.936.8
Integration of Bioinformatics in Science Curriculum at Fort Valley State University Abstract
This paper provides an overview of design and development of recently started bioinformatics curriculum at Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and reviews the key challenges associated with its implementation at undergraduate level. A three-pronged approach has been prepared for curriculum implementation; a bioinformatics course that would provide students with both theory and practical aspects of subject, course-embedded modules containing bioinformatics topics that can be integrated into selected science and engineering courses, and training workshops for faculty and curriculum development. A multipurpose bioinformatics laboratory will be established to support the bioinformatics curriculum, research and outreach activities. An introduction to bioinformatics course has been developed and in-place for offering in Spring 2007 semester. The contents of the course-embedded modules will be focusing on principles and/or application of bioinformatics and its pedagogical structure include key concepts, hands-on approaches, and active learning. The goal is to seamlessly integrate biological and computer sciences to establish a bioinformatics curriculum that would appeal to both students and faculty of FVSU.
Bioinformatics is an emerging discipline that combines the tools and techniques of computer science, biology, mathematics, and physics for the acquisition, management, and analysis of biological data2. The bioinformatics revolution began only a decade ago and has consistently gained strength ever since. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has reported that its international sequence databases exceeded 100 gigabases in 2005 9. This massive growth of data implies a continuous data explosion in the future coupled with an extensive need for professionals trained to analyze the data 3 and 7. Consequently, the demand for bioinformaticians is high as the trend in this field underscores the need for new breed of graduates with solid training in computer science, biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and engineering. It has been reported that both industry and government sectors have been hard pressed to find people with requisite job qualifications in this field7.
Many research universities have responded to this demand by revising their curricula to include minor and/or major programs in bioinformatics as indicated in Table 1 5, 6 and 8. However, the majority of four-year institutions, especially, HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions have not been actively involved in preparing and training their students in the use and development of bioinformatics techniques. To facilitate the problems associated with the implementation of bioinformatics discipline at undergraduate level, a variety of models have been suggested 1, 2, 3, and 4. This paper presents a three–pronged approach to the design and development of bioinformatics curriculum that has recently initiated at FVSU. The objective is not only exposing students to the field, but also enhancing their overall knowledge in sciences and engineering.
Gosukonda, R., & Naghedolfeizi, M., & Arora, S. (2007, June), Integration Of Bioinformatics In Science Curriculum At Fort Valley State University Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1637
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