Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics

""Research into heredity and diseases is no longer possible without programmers. Wondering how you can apply IT and biology skills to lifelike problems in health and disease? Then the unique Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics in Bruges (Belgium) is something for you!""

Bioinformatics is a new and spectacular field which uses methods from informatics to store and process molecular biological information (DNA, proteins, functions). In bioinformatics, molecular biology is combined with informatics and programming. A bioinformatics scientist is capable of retrieving the necessary information from databases and of using these to make predictions. As a bioinformatician you will look for application possibilities of informatics within the (biological/biomedical) laboratory.

  • Informatics scientist:
    application of informatics techniques to storage, organizing and sharing (molecular biological) data 
     
  • Bioinformatics scientist: 
    data processing and (statistical) analysis by means of bioinformatics tools in a dry lab
     
  • Programmer:
    integration by scripting and automation of bioinformatics tools

In the course of the bioinformatics training programme, 3 roles are covered: the role of programmer, the role of informatics scientist and the role of bioinformatics scientist. You learn several programming languages like PHP, Python and R and you use the most relevant databases of which you learn to process and interpret the data. During the programme there is a special emphasis on the application of open source tools, both in a Windows and in a Linux environment. During the traineeship (without a bachelor’s thesis) a fourth role is addressed, the role of the New Young Professional, in which the more generic competences of a bachelor (such as working in team, clear communication, …) are pursued.

As the training progresses, you become more and more familiar with the processing of complex biological data, like the analysis of next generation sequencing data (NGS data) or the application of machine learning techniques and you are able to apply these within a professional framework.

Training programme | ECTS-sheets | Brochure

Testimonials

"The students were able to successfully complete these challenging projects and to go beyond what they learned in school."

Perry Moerland

"The students were able to successfully complete these challenging projects and to go beyond what they learned in school."

Perry Moerland

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

Over the past few years our group (Bioinformatics Laboratory, Amsterdam University Medical Centers) has hosted several students of the Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics. Our experiences have been very positive. The students were highly motivated and due to their background able to quickly familiarize themselves with the topic of their internship. Examples of projects they worked on are the development of Galaxy pipelines for the analysis of omics data and a R/Shiny app for the Interactive visualization of DNA methylation and gene expression data. The students were able to successfully complete these challenging projects and to go beyond what they learned in school. 

Next to their professional skills, they also blended in very well in our group. Not to mention that the various Belgian specialties (chocolates, beers) they brought with them to Amsterdam were also well appreciated. ;-)
 

Wist je dat ...

Perry Moerland (left) with Howest alumna Laurence Dedrie (right) during a group outing at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam

"I can work much faster and be more focused"

Steve Baeyen

"I can work much faster and be more focused"

Steve Baeyen

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

In the molecular lab where I work as a lab manager, we started working on Next-Generation Sequencing techniques around 2008. I wanted to deepen and improve my know-how in this area, especially as this domain is developing rapidly. Hence, I made this advanced bachelor my choice, which moreover allowed me to combine studying with work and a family of four children. Initially, some subjects did not seem immediately usable to me for my job, but in the end, I was able to practically apply all the knowledge I had acquired in my work. I also got to know a lot about updates, insights and new methods for areas I already had a lot of experience with. This means that, today, I can work much faster and be more focused.

Now working at ...

ILVO

"So far, we have only had positive experiences with Howest’s trainees."

Kris Laukens

"So far, we have only had positive experiences with Howest’s trainees."

Kris Laukens

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

This advanced bachelor’s degree fulfils a very clear need: it provides the field with multifunctional bioinformatics technicians. Specialists who bridge the gap between the laboratory world and the world of IT. Trainees are deployed for a variety of tasks: data configuration, setting up and maintaining bioinformatics workflows, performing genomic data analysis, and so on. So far, we have only had positive experiences with Howest’s trainees. What do they learn here? They have learned to work together within a multidisciplinary team and experience firsthand how you can contribute to a larger project in such a team.

Now working at ...

Antwerp University

"After completing this course, I intend to look for new professional opportunities, based on the new know-how that I have acquired, combined with the necessary self-study."

Maxine Vanvuchelen

"After completing this course, I intend to look for new professional opportunities, based on the new know-how that I have acquired, combined with the necessary self-study."

Maxine Vanvuchelen

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

I have been working as a laboratory technician for three years now and thought it was time to deepen and expand my knowledge - especially in the field of computer science, a field that has been of interest to me for a long time. That’s why I thought this advanced bachelor’s programme was the right one, as it links computer science directly to the biomedical world. In this way, experiments can now also be designed on the computer, instead of just standard in a lab. After completing this course, I intend to look for new professional opportunities, based on the new know-how that I have acquired, combined with the necessary self-study.

"Thanks to the advanced bachelor I got the chance to have an amazing international experience that I’ll never forget."

Cedric Hermans

"Thanks to the advanced bachelor I got the chance to have an amazing international experience that I’ll never forget."

Cedric Hermans

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

I’ve always wanted to go and study or perform a traineeship abroad. When I got the opportunity to do this during my advanced bachelor of bioinformatics, I went for it. I performed my traineeship at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, PRBB in Barcelona, Spain. It was a unique experience where I learned a lot about bioinformatics. 

But besides only the biomedical applications in programming I also learned a lot about life in general that I’ll never forget. Besides the knowledge and practice that you get within the bioinformatics field, you also get to know a new culture which is vastly different from our own. Having the holiday like intermezzos in between the traineeship work was amazing and something you should at least experience once in your lifetime. 

"Going abroad really made me grow both personally and professionally"

Klaas Vandendriessche

"Going abroad really made me grow both personally and professionally"

Klaas Vandendriessche

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

During my first bachelor in medical laboratory sciences, opportunities to go international for my traineeship were limited, so I stayed in Belgium. So when I enrolled in the advanced bachelor of Bioinformatics, I really wanted to perform my traineeship abroad, preferably in the United Kingdom.  Because of the hands on mentality and quick follow up by HOWEST I was able to perform my traineeship at the Thomas Keane lab, part of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Hinxton, a small village located in the neighbourhood of Cambridge. 

My project was writing Python scripts for the creation of pseudochromosomes of rodent species. There is a large amount of study groups at EMBL-EBI that offer a wide variety of tasks, from creating and following genome pipelines to database maintenance and writing scripts. The nine colleagues in my office were all great people with various international backgrounds (Chinese, Indian, Spanish, Finish, Ukrainian, British). 
I can say that I definitely enjoyed my stay in Cambridge and working at EMBL-EBI. I would recommend the experience to everyone who is still hesitating to go on an international traineeship. After this traineeship, I felt that I had become much more independent. My view on the world has also broadened a lot by coming in contact with so many different people and cultures.
 

"The courses were a combination of bioinformatics, programming, and data science: three aspects for which I developed a new passion."

Seppe Kelchtermans

"The courses were a combination of bioinformatics, programming, and data science: three aspects for which I developed a new passion."

Seppe Kelchtermans

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

I am a biomedical lab technician passionate about technology. I started my career at the KU Leuven working as a lab technician at the Rega Institute. I liked this job as it gave me a lot of experience in Biomolecular technology, but after three years I wanted something more challenging. I looked around for new challenges and I stumbled upon the advanced bachelor in Bioinformatics.

Going back to college wasn't an easy transition, but I have not regretted it for one moment. Programming and Biomolecular technology seemed like a peculiar combination at first, but after a couple of lessons the possibilities unfolded. The courses were a combination of bioinformatics, programming, and data science: three aspects for which I developed a new passion.

"Thanks to this – in Flanders - unique advanced bachelor in the study of Bioinformatics, qualitative staff members now enter the labour market and they perfectly fit in this niche."

Pieter De Bleser

"Thanks to this – in Flanders - unique advanced bachelor in the study of Bioinformatics, qualitative staff members now enter the labour market and they perfectly fit in this niche."

Pieter De Bleser

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

Biological experiments become more and more large-scale and the need for streamlined analyses increases. There is a transition from gene-central to genome-wide studies with implications for an advanced use of computer and statistics. Whereas large-scale experiments become cheaper and faster, the analysis of the results becomes ever more labour-intensive.

A possibility to close the gap between bioinformatics and traditional biology and biomedical research is the availability of ‘bioinformatics scientists’.
Howest plays an important pioneering role in this field. Thanks to this unique advanced bachelor in Flanders in Bioinformatics, qualitative staff members now enter the labour market and perfectly fit in this niche. We are convinced these people will contribute to scientific research in Flanders!

Now working at ...

expert Bio-informatica, VIB-UGent

"The student is perfectly coached in small groups."

Jasper Anckaert

"The student is perfectly coached in small groups."

Jasper Anckaert

Advanced bachelor of Bio-informatics

The Bioinformatics training is a unique training for people who want to approach sciences and laboratory work in a different way. Thanks to the increasing use of informatics, the field of bioinformatics comes more and more to the forefront. The student is perfectly coached in small groups. This way, a unique atmosphere is created and students learn a lot in a relaxed way.

In the beginning, many students might be discouraged by the informatics part of the training, but thanks to the good composition of the course package many pieces of the puzzle slowly form one integrated unit.

Wist je dat ...

Jasper graduated in 2010.

Now working at ...

Bioinformatic scientist at Centrum voor Medische Genetica

Information sessions

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Friday till Saturday
07/05 - 08/05
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Saturday
26/06 10u-16u
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Saturday
28/08 10u-13u
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Friday
10/09 17u-20u
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