Dr Renata Kabiljo
With a first degree in Biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Renata studied on the MSc Bioinformatics course in 2002-3.
Having gained a Distinction for her Masters, she went on to do a PhD in biomedical text mining at Birkbeck. After doing post-doctoral work as a bioinformatician in sleep research at the University of Surrey (with a focus on microarray and pathway analysis), she has held several posts in industry and is currently a Senior Solutions Consultant for the company IDBS specialising in software that supports the analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing data.
Introduction to the MSc Bioinformatics
Course Director: Dr Adrian Shepherd
Aims and objectives
The MSc Bioinformatics course aims to provide students with high-quality postgraduate training in bioinformatics. The course provides a strong foundation for the development of essential bioinformatics knowledge and skills within the context of academic research, as well as an introduction to the emerging field of systems biology. Some key themes are:
- The development of essential computing skills: programming in Python (including Biopython and Web application development), designing and querying databases, developing larger applications in a group (including version control and code validation)
- Understanding fundamental biological concepts, including genomes, DNA, protein structure and function
- Understanding the statistical foundations of bioinformatics, including sequence analysis
- Providing an introduction to growth areas in bioinformatics research, such as systems biology and Next-Generation Sequencing.
The syllabus changes every year and is designed to meet the present needs of research and industry. A key experience for most students is the extended project, which gives students the opportunity to engage in original research and to aid their development as independent researchers (see the projects page).
Teaching on the course involves a mixture of lectures, and practical sessions in a dedicated computing lab. For more information about the eight taught modules on the course, click here.
Who is it for?
Students on the course may have first degrees in a wide range of subjects, including: biology, computer science, mathematics, chemistry, physics. Prospective students may be required to undertake a short programming aptitude test before their interview.
Around half of students on the course, many of whom are mature students, study part time. As a college with a high percentage of part-time students, Birkbeck is reknowned for providing a lively learning and social environment that lasts well into the evening!
The course is particularly well-suited to recent graduates wishing to specialise in bioinformatics, and to mature students wishing to change their career direction.
Students take all eight of the 15-credit taught modules, giving a total of 120 credits.
The remaining 60 credits are awarded for the MSc project and viva. Projects are chosen in the Spring term.