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Catalog 2002-2003
Bioinformatics (BS)
School of Theoretical and Applied Science

Requirements of the Major
Convener's Page
Convener: Paramjeet S. Bagga
Advisors: Lawrence D'Antonio
Arthur Felix
Amruth Kumar
William Mitchell
Edward Saiff
Robert Shine

About the Major

Bioinformatics is a modern interdisciplinary science that was born from the marriage of Biology and Computer Science. It is applied to manage biological information and solve biological problems with the help of computer science based technology. The management involves gathering, storing, analyzing and integrating biological data that can then be used for molecular modeling, gene discovery, assignment of functions to newly discovered genes, and study of relationships like structure and function of genes and proteins. The information obtained by the application of this powerful new technology can be applied to prevent, diagnose and treat inherited and other diseases, design new drugs and vaccines, shorten the development cycle of new medicines and much more.

There is an unprecedented demand for Bioinformaticists to join the forefront of research areas in industry as well as academic institutions. Northern New Jersey is a hub for pharmaceutical industry and one of the largest centers of biotechnology. Several institutions of higher education are located in and around this area as well. Ramapo College is well suited for a Bioinformatics program since it is located within a short distance from institutions for higher education and companies that have high priority programs in Bioinformatics.

Ramapo College is one of the first primarily undergraduate colleges in the United States to offer a baccalaureate degree in Bioinformatics. The curriculum for this program has been designed to lay a solid foundation in modern life sciences as well as cutting-edge computer technology. In advanced courses, students are then trained to manage biological data, develop computational methods for analysis and integration of the data, solve scientific problems and make new discoveries. In addition to the scientific and technical concepts, students are also exposed to the social, business, and ethical aspects of science. This career-oriented program prepares the students to obtain employment, pursue higher education or engage in research in this technological field of great demand.

Highly qualified and experienced educators teach the courses of Bioinformatics curriculum. The faculty members are actively engaged in research and typically involve undergraduate students in their projects. Students are also encouraged to present their findings at research conferences.

Supporting academic programs with the technology necessary for their success is top priority at Ramapo College. The College has well-maintained modern laboratories for biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry and physics that are used for the Bioinformatics program. Most of these laboratories are equipped with modern computers with Internet connections. The college also boasts over twenty different computer labs across the campus for students, hundreds of PCs for student use, an Alpha Workstation for email, another for Web Server and a Sun Server dedicated to Bioinformatics software.

The Major is offered by the School of Theoretical and Applied Science and leads to a B.S. degree.

Curriculum for the Bioinformatics Major:

In order to graduate with a B.S. in Bioinformatics from Ramapo College, a student will have to earn a total of 128 credits. In addition to 65 credits of the core subjects, students pick 10 credits from two sets of specialized electives. Additionally, Fundamentals of Physics I and II courses are highly recommended for Bioinformatics majors. There is also provision for students to opt for Bioinformatics research that can be performed under the guidance of one of the faculty members of the program, or taken as Co-op/Internship in a suitable industry in the area.
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