Nowadays, information processing and different computational models are a vital part of biology and biotechnology as well as medicine. The contagiousness of a disease-carrying virus can be studied by modelling its three-dimensional surface structure. The function of genes can be determined by studying the structure of DNA strings with the help of a computer.
A new multidisciplinary research are has emerged; bioinformatics. It develops computational models and information processing methods for the needs of applications in biology.
Loosely, bioinformatics can be defined as the computational gathering, processing and analysing of biological and medical information. Bioinformatics is based on methods from mathematics, statistics and computer science, but developing them for use in the natural sciences requires both that you know the application field and that you have a deep understanding of the methods and the creation of new technologies.
The mindset of both method sciences and biology are necessary. The bioinformatics scientist often acts as an important link between these two.
University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki offers excellent opportunities for studying bioinformatics. The teaching is arranged as a joint effort between the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Biosciences. Bioinformatics is taught at many different departments, each focusing on different sub-areas. The successful co-operation between faculties and departments offers students ample opportunity to adapt their degrees to best suit their own wishes.
In the research in this field, the University of Helsinki represents the cutting edge in Europe.
As the largest and oldest university in the country, it has contacts to universities and research institutions all over the world. This ensures first-class opportunities for exchange and post-graduate studies.