The 1st Bioinformatics Seminar took place at the Faculty of Biology and Geology in Cluj-Napoca, on the 24th of November 2017. It was well attended by around 40 scientists from Romania, interested in building a national community of Bioinformatics.
The first part of the event consisted of 12 research talks, on different Bioinformatics topics.
In the the second part of the event, the participant discussed two major topics
1) Ways to develop new collaborations with regard to Bioinformatics at national level.
2) Capacity building and training in Bioinformatics.
Below is the summary of our talks:
What is a bioinformatician?
The term ‘bioinformatician’ can mean different things, depending on the ‘bioinformatician’s’ interests.
There are two major groups:
* Users of computer tools, who analyse biological data. This category includes biologists who acces biological databases, can operate certain software packages and can interpret the results produced by the software tools.
* Programmers who develop new software tools, used to analyse biological data. This category includes computer scientists who are familiar with biological concepts and know and can implement algorithms specific to Bioinformatics.
There are plenty of other types of Bioinformaticians, which include biologists who implement pipelines, write scripts, can parameterise computational models, but also computer scientists who implement new biological computer models and simulations.
How are Bioinformaticians trained?
* BSc and MSc students could become familiarised with Bioinformatics, as part of their degree in Biology of Computer Science. (A guideline to follow would that of the BSc degree in Computer Science at Faculty of Computer Science in Iasi or the model implemented MSc level at the Faculty of Biology in Cluj)
* This type of education, has to be followed by trainings and other short courses.
Interdisciplinary degrees in Bioinformatics.
* This might not be feasable at BSc level in Romania, since there are not enough jobs in Bioinformatics at the moment.
* At MSc level: At the moment, there are at least 5 MSc programmes which incorporate the word “Bioinformatics”(Nomenclatorul programelor de master 2017-2018, Anexa 1 HG 2017 08 11), run at the following institutions:
1. Politechnic University in Bucharest
2. Faculty of Computer Science at Bucharest Universty
3. Faculty of Biology at Bucharest University
4. Faculty of Medicine in Cluj
5. West University Timisoara
Travel and knowledge exchange
Travel and mobility are essential to capacity building, since both professors and students need to be exposed to interdisciplinary topics.
There are two ways which could encourage mobility:
1) Mobility for trainers and Bioinformatics experts.
2) Mobility for students, which could gain experience at different institutions.
Zoological museum, et. I, str. Clinicilor 5-7, Cluj-Napoca
Friday, 24 November 2017
Prof. Dr. Horia Banciu, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, România
email: horia [punct] banciu [at] ubbcluj [punct] ro
Dr. Bogdan Mirăuță, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Cambridge, UK
email: mirauta [at] ebi [punct] ac [punct] uk
Lect. Dr. Radu Moleriu, West University, Timișoara, România
email: radu [punct] moleriu [at] e-utv [punct] ro
Dr. Monica Abrudan, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
email: monica [punct] abrudan [at] sanger [punct] ac [punct] uk
Ing. Mihai Glonț, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Cambridge,UK
email: mglont [at] ebi [punct] ac [punct] uk
Students from OSPN volunteered in the event.