Course Description

This introductory-level will provide the theoretical foundation of the basic bioinformatics methods, ultimately facilitating the solution of biological problems. The course provides an overview of several important aspects of bioinformatics such as accessing DNA and protein sequences in publicly available databases, aligning sequences for comparison, and building phylogenetic trees. The course combines theoretical sections and practical examples, allowing participants to gain experience using various bioinformatics resources including software packages, tools, and algorithms. An important part of this course is an introduction to relevant open access computational resources and databases.

Learner Outcomes

When you complete the course successfully, you will be able to:

  • Understand the need and application of Bioinformatics. Learn the history and the basic concepts of Bioinformatics (data management and data analysis)
  • Search and retrieve data from biological databases
  • Use protein/nucleic acid sequence similarity searches (BLAST)
  • Generate pairwise sequence alignments
  • Generate multiple sequence alignments
  • Use PSSMs, profile and HMMs for sequence similarity searches
  • Understand basic concepts of phylogenetic analysis and learn different tree construction methods


This course applies toward the Bioinformatics Endeavor digital badge.

Textbook Information

A textbook is required or recommended for this course.

Click here to view a textbook list for FAES courses and purchasing information. Please note that tuition does not include textbooks.


This basic course is designed for trainees and interested individuals in the fields of medicine, biology and related fields with little or no experience in bioinformatics. A basic background in biology is recommended to benefit most from the learning. If you are unsure that you meet the prerequisite requirements, please contact  registrar@faes.org and provide information about your course of interest and background knowledge.

Related Course:
BIOF 519 | Theoretical and Applied Bioinformatics: Genomics and Metagenomics

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