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Coursera’s Online Course on Bioinformatic Methods

EdX is constantly introducing varied online courses for the students worldwide. Once again it has come up with another online course “Bioinformatic Methods II” in collaboration with University of Toronto. This course will start in the first week of March.

Couple of large-scale projects like sequencing of the human genome and gene expression has formed a wealth of data for biologists. However, confronting scientists are analyzing as well as accessing these data to dig out valuable information pertaining to the system being studied.



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The focal point of this course is to make the best possible use of existing bioinformatic resources. The employment of these resources is mainly for web-based programs and databases. These resources are employed to access the wealth of data to answer the relevant questions of the average biologist. Subjects of this course comprise of various sub topics such as multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, gene expression data analysis and protein interaction networks, in two separate parts.

Part first, Bioinformatic Methods I which deals with databases, Blast, multiple sequence alignments, selection analysis, phylogenetics and metagenomics.

Second part, Bioinformatic Methods II, will cover motif searching, structural bioinformatics, gene expression data analysis, protein-protein interactions and cis-element predictions.

This pair of courses is helpful for any graduate student who is interested to continue the subjects like biological sciences and molecular medicine further.

Duration of Course

The session will start from March 3, 2014 for the duration of 6 weeks. The course will demand 2-3 hours/week for study. The course will be taught in English followed by English subtitles.

Course Format
This course comprises of a 20 minute introductory lecture each and every week. The lectures cover a bit of biological background and bit knowledge of the tools used that week. Moreover there will be assignments and two quizzes. The assignments are mandatory.


Applicants must have some knowledge regarding molecular biology.

Course Syllabus

Bioinformatic Methods II
Week 1: Protein motifs
Week 2: Protein-protein interactions
Week 3: Protein structure
Week 4: Gene expression analysis I
Week 5: Gene expression analysis II
Week 6: Cis regulatory elements              

Statement of Accomplishment

Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

About the Instructor

Nicholas James Provart

He is an associate professor of Plant Cyber infrastructure and Systems Biology in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. He has acquired his PhD for Free University of Berlin in 1996 under the supervision of Lothar Willmitzer. Formerly, he was director of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Genome Biology & Bioinformatics, co-developer of an Undergraduate Specialist Program in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology at the University of Toronto.

For detailed information please follow Courser’s  official site.