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Keywords:

  • Bioinformatics;
  • curriculum design;
  • multidepartmental;
  • genomics

Abstract

Over the past 10 years, there has been a technical revolution in the life sciences leading to the emergence of a new discipline called bioinformatics. In response, bioinformatics-related topics have been incorporated into various undergraduate courses along with the development of new courses solely focused on bioinformatics. This report describes the design and implementation of an interdepartmental bioinformatics program throughout several life science programs. Using elements of the backward curricular design process, nine faculty members from the Biology, Microbiology, and Chemistry Departments at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse incorporated bioinformatics in a coordinated manner into 10 courses. Key molecular biology concepts were first identified followed by development of bioinformatics exercises that centered on these concepts. An overview of how the program was constructed and implemented and a summary of the exercises that were designed will be presented.