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Work in Progress: Development of a Training Program to Prepare Students for an Immersive Bioinformatics Summer Research Experience

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Postcard Session (Best of Works in Progress)

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Biomedical Engineering

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Mark A. Chapman University of San Diego Orcid 16x16

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Mark Chapman is an assistant professor at the University of San Diego in the Department of Integrated Engineering. His interests lie in the fields of skeletal muscle mechanics, muscle disease, exercise physiology, international education and engineering education. He earned his MS and PhD in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego and a B.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

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The publication of the first human genome in 2001 transformed biomedical research. Since then, an explosion of new sequencing technologies has required engineers and computer scientists to invent computational methods to analyze and interpret the ever-growing data. Now, large-scale biological data encompasses many types of ‘omics’ datasets, including genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes and metabolomes, and each of these new datasets has created a new set of analytical challenges. To meet this need, the field of bioinformatics has expanded significantly, but there is still a large need for engineers and scientists to work in this inherently interdisciplinary field. Properly trained bioinformaticians have expertise in computer science/engineering and understand the biological and medical context underlying their work. Therefore, the development of robust bioinformatics training programs is critical to educate the next generation of bioinformaticians. Although undergraduate degree programs in bioinformatics exist, providing students with hands-on bioinformatics skills through immersive research experiences is necessary to prepare students for graduate work. Thus, this work describes a recently funded NSF – International Research Experience for Students (IRES) site: US-Sweden Clinical Bioinformatics Research Training Program targeted at training students from diverse educational backgrounds to prepare them for authentic bioinformatics research experiences. Given the inherent interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics, it is extremely difficult to design a training program that prepares students from different backgrounds (computer science, bioengineering, computational biology, biology) to be successful in a bioinformatics research group. Therefore, this ‘Work-in-Progress’ describes the pre-departure training program developed for this IRES site and the initial lessons learned.

Chapman, M. A. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Development of a Training Program to Prepare Students for an Immersive Bioinformatics Summer Research Experience Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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