Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG)

The HST and i2b2 Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics program (BIG) introduces participants to the intersection of quantitative and biomedical sciences, providing them with broad knowledge of clinical relevancy as well as specific skills in the information science of genomics. BIG brings together nationally recognized leaders from the basic biological sciences, computer science, genomics, bioinformatics and epidemiology. Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in bioinformatics and genomics are eligible to apply to the nine week Summer Institute in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics.

Program Description

From a base on the Cambridge, Massachusetts MIT campus, students attend lectures and perform research at HST and Harvard-affiliated institutions. The program combines didactic lectures in informatics and genomics, clinical case studies and a mentored research project to expose students fully to the exciting world of genomic research. Participants learn skills fundamental to the task of extracting information from the huge amount of data produced by the international Human Genome Project by working with the various tools and databases now available.
As part of the Summer Institute, participants also receive guidance through individual tutorials and workshops on preparing and presenting research findings. At the end of the summer, participants present their work to the Bioinformatics mentors at a conference. In addition, summer participants discuss responsible and ethical ways to conduct research.
A partial list of program elements includes:
  • Participation in exciting research projects
  • A bioinformatics and integrative genomics course taught by national leaders
  • Medical Case Study presentations by Harvard Medical Scoool physicians and researchers
  • Instruction in technical communications designed to improve written and oral presentation skills
  • Guidance on choosing graduate and/or medical school programs
  • Social and networking events