Grad program offers opportunities in biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics

The Department of Biomolecular Engineering in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering has changed the name of its M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs from Bioinformatics to Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics.

This change reflects the increasing breadth and depth of the department, said chair Phillip Berman, Baskin Professor of Biomolecular Engineering. In both research and graduate training, the department now combines the rigorous computational analysis of bioinformatics with sophisticated laboratory research in biomolecular engineering.

"As the department has grown, we have greatly expanded the opportunities for graduate research," Berman said. "We now have a wide range of exciting research programs, from cancer genomics and DNA sequencing technology to stem cell biology and HIV vaccines."

Faculty in the department have received several major grants within the past year. These include grants from the National Institutes of Health for AIDS vaccine research, for nanopore technology for DNA analysis, and for a Cancer Genome Data Analysis Center. New funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has allowed expansion of a training program in stem cell research for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

The new program name is effective as of fall 2009. Students already admitted to Bioinformatics may elect to receive their degree with that name.