Working Group Project

Introducing Bioinformatics in Higher Education Curricula

Workshop & Curricula Development

Bioinformatics is an emerging discipline that combines computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, information engineering, and biology. By developing software tools and digital methods, large biological data sets can be examined and interpreted. With the help of bioinformatics, it is possible to simulate and display biochemical processes and biological data such as the structure of DNA molecules or proteins. Therefore, bioinformatics plays a key role in the modern life sciences and contributed to fundamental findings in modern biology and medicine. The analysis of genome sequence data, particularly the analysis of the human genome, is one of the main achievements of bioinformatics. This lead to enhanced discovery of drug targets and individualised therapy.

 

Raising Awareness for Bioinformatics

Despite the rising importance of bioinformatics, only few universities in the Arab world offer this interdisciplinary study programme. In a joint effort by three AGYA Working Groups, this project aims to fill this gap by raising awareness for this field and subsequently establishing distinct bioinformatics study and education programmes to be implemented at universities in Arab countries.

 

Bioinformatics Workshop in Tunisia

Tunisia is one of the pioneering countries in the Arab world that has implemented several educational courses in bioinformatics. It is thus the ideal place to conduct a workshop on bioinformatics bringing together international specialists from different scientific backgrounds, such as engineering, informatics and medical sciences. The invited speakers will be from research institutions and universities in Germany and the Arab world, ensuring interdisciplinary knowledge transfer. Over a two-day period, they will discuss the various aspects of bioinformatics, its scope of application, and how to implement bioinformatics study programs at universities. Along with AGYA members, the target audience will be academics and students from the different AGYA member countries to encourage the dissemination of the gained knowledge on bioinformatics.

 

Developing a Bioinformatics Curriculum

Based on the discussions and recommendations of the workshop, experts coming from the different bioinformatics disciplines together with an accreditation expert will develop a comprehensive educational program for bioinformatics.  

In a pilot phase, the program will be implemented at the University of Benghazi, Libya through a seminar. In a long-term perspective the program should be integrated into the curricular of universities of different Arab countries to improve their international compatibility.