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Bioinformatics Curriculum Guidelines: Toward a Definition of Core Competencies

Rapid advances in the life sciences and in related information technologies necessitate the ongoing refinement of bioinformatics educational programs in order to maintain their relevance. As the discipline of bioinformatics and computational biology expands and matures, it is important to characterize the elements that contribute to the success of professionals in this field. These individuals work in a wide variety of settings, including bioinformatics core facilities, biological and medical research laboratories, software development organizations, pharmaceutical and instrument development companies, and institutions that provide education, service, and training. In response to this need, the Curriculum Task Force of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) Education Committee seeks to define curricular guidelines for those who train and educate bioinformaticians. The previous report of the task force summarized a survey that was conducted to gather input regarding the skill set needed by bioinformaticians [1]. The current article details a subsequent effort, wherein the task force broadened its perspectives by examining bioinformatics career opportunities, surveying directors of bioinformatics core facilities, and reviewing bioinformatics education programs.

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