Although students won’t be able to declare a Bioinformatics minor until next fall, the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences has the minor planned and ready. Professors in various departments have been discussing the minor for several years, but have worked on its structure for about a year.
John Hale, professor of Computer Science, said the minor “establishes a formal credential that tells prospective employers and graduate schools that this student has a depth of experience and background in bioinformatics.” This field, he believes, will become “more prominent over time.” Both regional and national opportunities in bioinformatics exist for students.
At a local level, the major health care systems need people with bioinformatics training, and the Laureate Institute for Brain Research has established internships and jobs for TU students with bioinformatics training, Hale said.
Hale expects computer science, biology, math, psychology and nursing students to be the best candidates for the minor.
Brett McKinney and Hani Girgis, professors of computer science, are involved the bioinformatics program in the computer science department and helped build the minor. Estelle Levetin, chair of the biology department, and Bill Coberly, chair of the math department, also contributed to the minor.