Online Summer Program for High School Students on Bioinformatics in India
In the past decade, there has been a strong push for better exposure, recruitment, and training of high school students in the US, UK, and Europe to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related fields. Of course, coding, robotics & AI stole the limelight in the media and news. However, educators have been also focussing on bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary focus with roots in computer science, molecular biology, genetics, and mathematics.
What is Bioinformatics?
Bioinformatics is a multidisciplinary field that links biology, bio-medicine, proteomics, genomics, genetic engineering, mathematics, and computer science.
Bioinformatics is a modern, growing scientific field created by the intersection of biology, computer science, and information technology to support the storage, organization, and retrieval of biological data.
Broadly viewed, the field of bioinformatics incorporates three main areas: 1) genomics, 2) proteomics, and 3) systems biology.
Bioinformatics is a Core STEM field
The global approach to the study of biological data includes different matters and collaborations between professions in biology, physics, mathematics, biomedicine, computer science in the idea of the complexity of science. Bioinformatics refers to the possibility for analysis and comparison of:
- Genomes (the whole genetic information of a given organism)
- Transcriptomes (the full set of RNAs of a given organism)
- Proteomes (the full set of proteins of a given organism)
Importance of Bioinformatics in Modern Healthcare & Medicine
Biology in the 21st century is expanding from a purely laboratory-based science to an information-aided one.
Recent developments in both molecular biology and information technology have made biological data much more readily available to scientists and to educational institutions, and this growing amount of data has created an “absolute requirement” for the use of computers to organize, analyze, and process such information. Know more about the scopes and applications of bioinformatics in medicine and biotechnology.
Market Demand for Bioinformatics
The completion of the Human Genome Project 2001 and the Human Proteome Project, a large volume of information has been produced which has given a fresh dimension to proteomic and genomic analysis profiling.
The information produced from these initiatives has fueled worldwide bioinformatics market growth owing to increasing demand for data management instruments and platforms, data retrieval, sequence alignment, structure prediction, and other bioinformatics applications.
The bioinformatics market was valued at USD 7305.82 million in 2017 and is anticipated to record a CAGR of about 20.75% during the forecast period 2018-2023.
Objective of Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is used to understand and treat genetic conditions, discern evolutionary relationships, and learn about how diseased cells and/or proteins (e.g. cancer cells) differ from normal cells and/or proteins.
According to the NCBI, “the ultimate goal of the field [bioinformatics] is to enable the discovery of new biological insights as well as to create a global perspective from which unifying principles in biology can be discerned”.
With bioinformatics it is possible the identification of disease-associated genes; identification of genes and genetic markers; prediction of three-dimensional structures of protein and organisms evolution; design of new drugs; data sharing.
Bioinformatics in the High School Curriculum
Bioinformatics has been taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels since the 2000s. But, the efforts of introducing high school students to bioinformatics started only in 2012 – 2013.
In the US, survey findings indicated a generally low representation of bioinformatics-related content, which varied substantially across the different areas, with Human Genome Project/genomics and computer use being the lowest (8%), and evolution being the highest (64%) among states’ science frameworks.
This leaves high school science education lagging behind cutting-edge scientific discoveries, which hold great potential for supporting students’ understanding and eliciting their interest and motivation to learn science.
So why is bioinformatics rarely included in biology courses?
According to Jodie Spitze (nationally board-certified science teacher at Kent-Meridian High School, where she has taught biology and IB biology for 8 years) – “it’s primarily because few teachers know where to begin. With the rapid pace at which science advances, science teachers are often confronted with the challenge of staying current.”
Another factor is cost. Proteins and genes cannot be observed by the human eye. Expensive equipment is needed to visualize these molecules. And even then it remains to be seen whether students would gain a better understanding of the processes and functions.
Cheaper and probably more helpful is a computer-based approach. Using 3D-software, you will be able to see a certain protein from all different angles. You can zoom in, turn the protein around, and select specific amino acids. A protein structure can be downloaded from the Protein Data Bank. Other databases make it possible to show the structure of genes in a scientific way. You can simply zoom in on a gene and distinguish the exons, introns, and regulating domains. You can even make simplistic phylogenetic trees or look directly at proteins that are related to your protein of interest.
Several initiatives are being taken to ensure exposure to the high-quality curriculum developed for high school students, and the opportunity to learn from researchers who are using bioinformatics every day.
Due to its interdisciplinary nature, bioinformatics requires a large learning curve. It is difficult to design programs for exposure and recruitment in bioinformatics for students below the college level, so much so that there are only a handful of activities appropriate for high school students.
Top Summer Programs on Bioinformatics for High School Students
Here are a few top summer programs and internships on Bioinformatics and Computation Biology in the US
With the above programs, either the competition to get in is very high (20 – 50 students gets selected out of 500 – 2,000 applications), or the program fee is too expensive for Indian high school students (USD $1,500 – $3,500 for 2 – 4 weeks).
Online Summer Program on Bioinformatics for High School Students (Grade 11 & 12) in India
So, SHRM Biotechnologies partnered with Stoodnt to design an online bioinformatics training program for motivated high school students. This online program is built to give a broad overview of molecular biology, systems biology, and bioinformatics analysis through user-friendly software tools.
Enjoy Math, Statistics, and Computation? Intrigued by Big Data, Machine Learning & AI?
Want to solve problems in Biology and Medicine using Coding and Mathematics?
Passionate about Making an Impact on Public Health and Bio-Medical Research?
This would be the right summer program for you!
Students will also learn how to apply bio-statistics, data analytics to tackle a variety of challenges within drug discovery, and biomedical sciences. This program will allow a high school student passionate about biology & science to be able to ask the right question, find the data, and perform complex analysis.
Who can attend the Program?
The program is primarily intended for high school students in Grade 11 and Grade 12. However, Grade 10 students who have a deep interest in Computer Science, Coding, Biology along with some advanced exposure (ICT, Coding, etc.) are also welcome.
This program has been tailored for the bioscience students of Class 10 – 12. This is the most crucial growth period in terms of technical knowledge that makes a difference to the student’s career as well as to the scientific community.
If you wish to attend an online program on Biotechnology & Biomedical Science, refer to the Online Pre-College Biotech & Biomedical Science Summer School 2020 (for Grade 8 – 12 Students).
Theme and Objective of the Online Bioinformatics Summer Program 2020
Theme: Preparing War Machines against COVID-19
The online program will serve as the ideal online summer camp wherein students will understand, learn and appreciate the importance and technical know-how of drugs and drug designing against COVID-19, which is the need of the hour and for years to come. The program will also involve thoughtful assignments and case studies for the students so that they make the most of it.
- Batch-1: May 25 – June 5
- Batch-2: June 8 – June 19
- Batch-3: June 29 – July 10
Max 15 participants per batch
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (6 pm – 8 pm) for 2 weeks.
Day 1: Introduction to Molecular Biology, Omics (Genomics & Proteomics), and Bioinformatics
Students will learn the advanced theoretical concepts of Genes, Genomics, DNA, RNA, Protein, and Bioinformatics Tools.
Day 2: Evolution of the new Coronavirus with BLAST software
Learn how the novel Coronavirus has possibly evolved with the help of the interesting BLAST software. It allows you to see the similarity between different species. It is awesome how a simple computer program can give vivid information about the origin of a virus!
Day 3: The Protocol of Drug Discovery
Appeal to your inner hidden scientist and learn how to develop drugs against COVID-19 from scratch. Discover today and lead tomorrow.
Day 4: Importance of CADD (Computer-Aided Drug Design) and How to Use
CADD, or Computer-based drug designing, is the coolest tool out there, used by scientists across the world for the purpose of designing drugs. Why don’t you learn the tricks this summer?
Day 5: Designing Clinical Trials
A new drug or a remodeled drug must always be tested before use. But it is not as straightforward as it sounds. Several stages and strategies are involved. Learn how clinical trials are conducted and how to them forward in order to launch a medicine or vaccine in the market.
Day 6: Career and College Admission Guidance
This session has been specifically designed to help you visualize your career and take the best step forward.
You will get to know the career paths and courses (in India and abroad) in the field of bioinformatics, biotechnology, and life sciences. Additionally, we will provide you online tools for career guidance college admissions (after 12th).
Quiz, Assignments, and Participating Certificate
The program will also involve thoughtful assignments and case studies for the students so that they make the most of it.
Certificates will be provided to the students (by SHRM Biotechnologies and Stoodnt) only on the successful completion of the program, assignments, and case studies.
Rs. 7,500 + GST (total Rs. 8,850).
Faculty Members and Trainers
- Dr. Deborshi De, AVP, SHRM Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd. (Ex Colorado Technical University, MIT, Presidency University)
- Dr. Nilanjan Banerjee, Senior Research Fellow, Bose Institute
- Pallavi Mitra, SHRM Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd. (WHO Certified and Ex St. Xaviers [Gold Medalist], Lady Brabourne College)
- Mayukh Bose, SHRM Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd. (Ex-West Bengal State University and WHO & UN Certified)
- Tanmoy Ray, Stoodnt, Inc. (Ex Oxford, Utrecht University, UNSW, Aston University, WBUT)
How to Apply?
Please register by filling out this Google Form (or click below).
Featured Image Source: Stanford Online
Author: Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & MS Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage online marketing at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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