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BIO8102I: Recent advances in bioinformatics and molecular evolution

Course description:

This is a research-based course in bioinformatics and molecular evolution of viral and bacterial genomes. Lectures will cover basic concepts in (1) molecular evolution at the genome, gene, codon and nucleotide levels, with statistical methods and indices to characterize and analyze the effect of selection and mutation on various genomic features and regulatory motifs that affect transcription, splicing, and translation efficiencies, (2) molecular phylogenetics (distance-based, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood), and (3) bioinformatic resources including software tools and databases available for data-mining. Students will learn how to apply the knowledge gained from lectures and seminars to a practical mini-project in descriptive and comparative genomics. The mini-project will be carried out jointly by the student and the instructor. Evaluation is based on seminar presentations, participation in discussion, and a manuscript.

Each student will

  1. present two seminars, the first on a journal paper, and the second on his/her research project carried out jointly with the instructor.
  2. write a manuscript as the end result of the mini-project with five sections: INTRODUCTION outlining the scientific significance of the research and formulating one or more hypotheses and testable predictions derived from the hypothesis, METHODS detailing the approach for testing the predictions, RESULTS with the key findings, DISCUSSION on the implication of the results, possible alternative interpretations of the results, future directions, etc., and REFERENCES

Reference book

Xia, X. 2007. Bioinformatics and the cell: Modern computational approaches in genomics, proteomics and transcriptomics.


1st seminar: 20%
2nd seminar: 20%
1 term paper: 50%
Participation: 10%

Web page:



Dr. Xuhua Xia, Rm. 278, 30 Marie Curie.
E-mail: xxia@uottawa.ca
Phone: 562-5800 ext 6886

Office hour:

Friday, 2:00-5:00 pm

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