First master’s degree in bioinformatics awarded

Bioinformatics has been a topic of research in Helsinki for years, but as an independent major, it is brand new.

First master’s degree in bioinformatics awarded The Master’s Degree Programme in Bioinformatics (MBI), a joint programme run by the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology, now has its first graduate, who has been awarded its first degree.

Bioinformatics is a discipline that approaches research and development tasks in biology and medicine through computational means. The amount of measurement data in biology and medicine has increased exponentially. Analysing this data requires statistical modelling and robust computation methods.

- A bioinformatician needs a knowledge of statistics, computer science, mathematics, biology, and chemistry. It is only positive that now the teaching of this subject, which used to be spread between departments and campuses around the city, is available under one umbrella," says Marko Laakso, the first student to graduate from the MBI programme.

This autumn, an international group of students will start in the programme.

- Bioinformatics is a very international discipline, as are research groups in the field. Making the degree programme international and providing tuition in English were natural choices, although it is also intended for Finnish students, says Professor Juho Rousu from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki, who is in charge of the MBI programme.

From the University of Helsinki, the units involved in the MBI programme are the departments of Computer Science, and Mathematics and Statistics, as well as the faculties of Bioscience, Medicine, and Agriculture and Forestry. From the Helsinki University of Technology, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering participates in the programme.

Text: Sanna Kettunen ja Niina Viitanen
Photo: Eero Roine

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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