Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Helsinki, working in the field of Evolution, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Now after an intellectually exciting decade at the intersection of Life Sciences and Computational Science behind, I see even more interesting times ahead. The accelerating progress in Computer Science, in particular in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, is awaiting to be leveraged for important Life Science questions such as selecting optimal drug treatments. Within my research group, which is based at the Department of Biosciences, Department of Computer Science and the Institute of Biotechnology, we get to work on these key questions in collaboration with top caliber life scientist.
Can you tell why you should choose this field of study?
Biology and Biomedicine are undergoing a transformation caused by rapidly expanding data streams, such as genomics data. Life Sciences are becoming genuinely quantitative, however, such a paradigm shift will not happen automatically. A big investment to best utilize Computer Science in the context of Life Sciences is needed. This is the intellectual basis for University of Helsinki’s Life Science Informatics M.Sc. programme. It is very exciting to work and study across different disciplines and even more so when the disciplines themselves are being redefined.
What are the teaching and study methods like?
In a changing world strong theoretical understanding of various methods forms an important backbone. On top of that we combine the theoretical background on mathematical methods with their application to real biological data as much as possible.
Why should you choose to study this field at the University of Helsinki?
UH has very strong research groups in Computer Science, Statistics and Life Sciences. The programme has several of the group leaders as part of the teaching faculty so the setting is excellent.
What are the employment and career possibilities after graduation?
The course will prepare students well for doctoral studies and companies that utilize biodata in its various forms.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to apply?
Go for it. The world of biodata and the expertise to utilize it offer great future opportunities for making scientific discoveries and work in various academic or company settings.