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Bioinformatics for Beginners
February 15 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm$90.00 - $180.00
Saturday, February 15th from 10:00am to 5:00pm
With the advent of new technologies, there is a vast and growing amount of biological data at our fingertips. But how do we find that data and actually use it? Bioinformatics is the field where computational tools are used to analyze complex biological data. As the technology producing these large quantities of data advances, so does the need to wrangle and interpret all of this information. To date, the main characters tasked with this challenge are computer scientists – as well as biologists with a knack for programming. However, user-friendly tools have been developed for those who seek answers within the genetic code for questions about evolution, health, and ancestry, regardless of programming experience.
Join us for a weekend where we will introduce the basics of bioinformatics and help you dive straight into the belly of the computational beast… with no coding background required! You will learn to mine publicly available databases (your taxes paid for this!), compile genetic information, and run analyses about evolution, disease, and genomes. We will guide you through a real dataset to extract interesting details about life directly on your laptop and then help you explore your own questions!
Dr. Vanessa L. González currently serves as a Computational Genomics Scientist for the Global Genome Initiative (GGI) – an initiative aimed at preserving and understanding the genomic diversity of life. As a Smithsonian scientist, she sets out to understand how species are related across the tree of life. She also leads projects in genome biology and evolutionary bioinformatics, specializing on working with “big data.” By peering into the genetic makeup of organisms, we can figure out how, where, when, and why biodiversity happens.
Dr. González recieved her Ph.D. from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University in 2013, and soon thereafter began research at the Smithsonian focusing broadly on biodiversity genomics, systematics, and invertebrate biology.