Scientific Computing Program Offers Training in New Skill Sets
The newly established Institute for Scientific Computing offers Wayne State students a specialized graduate certificate in medicine, genetics and biochemistry. The focus areas of the program include biological databases, diagnostic developments, drug design, simulated biology, computerassisted surgery, and computational issues in medicine.
Drs. Stephen Krawetz and David Womble, both from the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, have been appointed to the institute’s faculty. They have been leaders in bioinformatics for the School of Medicine and the university during the past decade. Dr. Krawetz founded the Wayne State University Molecular Medicine and Genetics Biocomputing Facility in 1990 with the participation of 11 departments and colleges including liberal arts, science and medicine. That same year, he presented the first bioinformatics course to the faculty.
In 1995, Drs. Womble and Krawetz created a graduate level training program that was one of the first post-graduate bioinformatics courses in the nation. Dr. Krawetz served as co-editor for their course textbook, Bioinformatics Methods and Protocols, for which Dr. Womble wrote two chapters. Their program places heavy emphasis on using computers, the Internet, human genome databases and the Shiffman Medical Virtual Library as scientific resources. Their classes are taught in close collaboration with the Shiffman Medical Library’s computer learning center and staff who have been instrumental to the success of the course.
Dr. Womble, director of bioinformatics in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, says the abundance of scientific and genetic data that can be collected places the bioinformatician in high demand. “It’s great that we can collect vast amounts of data, but what’s the use unless it can be systematically organized and analyzed?” Dr. Womble asked.
The Institute for Scientific Computing offers a shared biocomputing facility and interdisciplinary courses to a new generation of scientists who are in high demand. “The demand for bioinformatics will certainly be heightened with the completion of the Human Genome Project and the new diagnostic DNA chip technologies,” Dr. Krawetz said. “You’re going to divide the biological science probseven lem into different parts. You’ll still have the typical wet bench researcher who will look at a very specific problem. Then you’ll have the bioinformatician who tries to model the problem.”
For additional information on the educational programs available through the Institute for Scientific Computing, visit: http://www.scp.wayne.edu