Title: Essentials of Genomics and Biomedical Informatics

Author for citation: Ron Unger and Ronen Tal-Botzer

License for content: Unknown

Publication date: 2024

This is an IsraelX-created course that is released on the edX platform. The 12-week course "will not make you a bioinformatician but will introduce the main concepts, tools, algorithms, and databases in this field." The course is free to take. A verified certificate of completion is available afterwards for $59 USD. The session started April 2024, and the free Audit track ends August 5.

The edX course description:

"Three innovations are driving the data revolution in medicine.

  • Next Generation Sequencing, and in particular, the ability to sequence individual genomes at diminishing costs.
  • Electronic Medical Records, and our ability to mine, using machine learning techniques, huge datasets of medical records.
  • Wearable devices, the Web, social networks and crowdsourcing - exemplifying the surprising capacity to collect medical data using non-conventional resources.

In order to take advantage of these technologies and participate in the revolution, physicians need a new toolbox that is generally lacking in the medical school curriculum.

This course is a product of a decade of a collaborative effort between researchers from the computational biology program at Bar-Ilan University, and clinicians from Sheba Medical Center to develop and deliver an extended curriculum in genomics and biomedical informatics. The program has been endorsed by the Israeli Medicine Association and Ministry of Health. Here, we present a condensed online course that includes selected topics chosen from the extended program."

"What you'll learn:

  • The scientific basis, concepts, and language needed to communicate effectively with bioinformaticians, statisticians and data scientists
  • First-hand experience in a computational analysis in the practice sessions
  • An opportunity to conduct your own basic research (utilizing existing tools, not programming new ones)
  • Sufficient background to enable further studies, research, or training towards a career in this field
  • And ultimately, the ability to provide better and more personalized medicine for your patients."

About the authors

The course is taught by Ron Unger and Ronen Tal-Botzer of Bar Ilan University. "For the past 15 years, Dr. Irizarry’s research has focused on the analysis of genomics data. During this time, he has also has taught several classes, all related to applied statistics. Dr. Irizarry is one of the founders of the Bioconductor Project, an open source and open development software project for the analysis of genomic data."

General layout and contents of the course

Week one provides an overview of the state of data influx and management in healthcare. Weeks two through four delve into biological sequencing and the databases created from that sequencing, as well as how to use them. Weeks five and six address the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in medicine. Week seven examines systems biology and week eight human genomic variation as applied to medicine discovery. The final week looks at cancer as a genomic disease.

The course

PDF.png: The course can be found on the edX site, under the Biomedical Sciences category. The session started April 2024, and the free Audit track ends August 5.