BIOINFORMATICS @ ULIEGE EDUCATION RESEARCH NEWS

MASTER IN BIOINFORMATICS AND MODELING



"Having started with a Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine, the bioinformatics curriculum in Liège has allowed me to get selected among 150 prospective students for a PhD grant in Bioinformatics and Modeling at the University of Luxemburg", Dries W., September 2018.


Both academia and industry are increasingly looking for computer-literate biologists with skills in software programming, data analysis and systems modeling. Indeed editing genomes of living cells can only be done meaningfully if we are first able to understand, model and make new predictions about them. Initially focused on mere sequence comparison, bioinformatics has now to deal with the flood of data coming out of next- generation sequencers (NGS) and other high-throughput instruments. Hence, supercomputers and artificial intelligence algorithms are increasingly becoming the new best friends of the life science researcher. In this context, the aim of the Master in Bioinformatics and Modeling is to allow young professional and students with a life science background (e.g., biologists and medical biologists, veterinary and medicine doctors, bioengineers) to acquire a solid training in computing techniques applied to biological data.

One-year MASTER BIM (75 credits)

Composed of a maximum of 75 credits (60 base credits and up to an additional 15 credits of remedial, depending on the background of the student), this program is designed so that all its credits can be acquired during a single academic year.
It features courses such as Biological Data Analysis covering programming in R together with machine learning techniques, for example to analyze transcriptomic data, practical courses such as Practical Genomics or Case Studies in Veterinary and Agronomical Sciences, computer science courses notably taught by the engineering faculty, such as Introduction to Databases or Data Structures and Algorithms, and finally more classical bioinformatics courses covering sequence comparison, 3D modeling of protein structure or phylogenetic inference.


This program is meant for students:
  • having already acquired 60 credits at the Master's level in either Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, or Biology of Organisms and Ecology, or Oceanography
  • or holding a Master's degree in Chemistry, Medicine, Biomedicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Public Health, Veterinary Medicine, or Bioengineering.

The one-year program

Two-years MASTER BIM (120 credits)

This program shares the courses of the first year of the Master in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, so as to provide a deep understanding of the biological data that are typically produced in various research labs working on human or animal models, plants, or microorganisms, including viruses. As a result, only 10% of this first year deals with bioinformatics per se. However, the second year includes the 90% other bioinformatics courses that are part of the "one-year program". Its aim is to provide the required skills to analyze the biological data introduced in the first year.


This program is meant for students:
  • holding a Bachelor's degree in a field belonging to the life sciences (including Chemistry)
  • holding a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or Engineering, or in many other scientific fields, provided that a maximum of 15 additional credits of remedial are also selected (depending on the exact background).

Detailed program of the 1st Year: Master 1
Detailed program of the 2d Year: Master 2

Why study Bioinformatics at the University of Liege in Belgium?

  • It can be done in a one-year program (if one already holds a Master's degree in a related field).
  • It requires no deep previous knowledge in computer science, statistics or programming. However, a sound biological background is mandatory.
  • It is bilingual, half of our courses being given in English, the other half in French. Yet, all course materials are in English, whereas French classes are included in the program.
  • Many of our classes are taught by academics of the Department of Life Sciences with a strong expertise in bioinformatics, hence focusing on the use of computing tools to produce new biological insight knowledge (rather than on the development of new computational methods).
  • An important part of the week is devoted to hand-on exercises such as homework, personal projects and a Master's thesis.
  • Laptops running under Linux are provided during practical sessions and exams.
  • It is inexpensive: our inscription fee is below 1000 EUR/year, while most bedrooms in Liège area have a rent below 500 EUR/month.
  • Liege is a very active French-speaking city with lots of sociocultural activities and events going on all year long.
  • The city has a central position in Europe: 20 min away from Maastricht (Netherlands), 30 min from Aachen (Germany), 60 min from Brussels (Belgium), 120 min from Paris (France) and 180 min from London (UK).

Contacts

Prof. Patrick Meyer
Head of the Jury of the Master in Bioinformatics and Modeling

Prof. Denis Baurain
Head of the Department of Life Sciences