MEIN30240 Bioinformatics

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module is relevant to students studying molecular biology from a wide range of degree courses. It comprises practical sessions, and completion of a mini-project, which are supported by lectures, online lectures and tutorials. The following topics are covered (1) Accessing databases of molecules and biomedical literature (2) sequence analysis (3) Molecular sequence database searching (4) lining up related sequences and illustrating their relationships with trees (5) Navigating and interpreting databases of disease associations with genetic variants. Each student will be assigned to a particular protein to analyse. Bioinformatics approaches will be used to assess the protein's potential contribution to cancer in a patient.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to identify and apply some of the standard methods in computational analysis of biosequences. They should understand why sequence regions are typically conserved or variable in populations and in evolution, and how that information may be applied. They should understand some of the challenges and solutions involved in dealing with large biological datasets, such as the problem of multiple testing across many molecular variants.

Indicative Module Content:

Protein and DNA sequence databases.
Sequence motifs.
Sequence alignment.
Trees based on similarities of sequences.
Analysing genome wide variation in genes.
protein structure/interactions.
Somatic mutation databases in cancer.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours






Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
practical sessions are the core approach to teaching where students will work with existing softwares, many of them online, to make sense of biological sequence and related data. The final write up will focus on an individual protein sequence, and its potential role in cancer.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that students taking this module will have successfully completed either BMOL20010 or GENE20010, or other modules with equivalent learning outcomes in molecular biology.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Bioinformatics (MDSA30240)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Project write up for an assigned protein/gene analysis. There will be opportunities for a component of the work to be completed as a group. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Class Test: The class tests will assess understanding of concepts and of particular data analyses mainly via MCQ. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

You will complete different tasks each week which will accumulate into your week 11 presented group slideshow (groups of three). You will get some feedback on your learning from completing online MCQs (ungraded). You will get feedback after presenting the group project which will give insights into your final individual write-up. you will get a final piece of short feedback on your individual submission after it is graded.

Name Role
Professor Desmond Higgins Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Kenneth Wolfe Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Peadar Ó Gaora Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Sean Bergin Tutor
Mr Donagh Egan Tutor
Padraic Heneghan Tutor
Ms Olateju Idowu Tutor
Catherine Mahoney Tutor
Gillian Mc Hugo Tutor
Miss Stephanie Mc Kenna Tutor
Annabelle Nwaokorie Tutor
Mr Eoin O Cinneide Tutor
Mr Adam Ryan Tutor
Mr Patrick Timmons Tutor
Marina Villacampa Fernandez Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2 Mon 16:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4 Mon 17:00 - 17:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 16:00 - 16:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 1 Week(s) - 12 Tues 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Tues 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 1 Week(s) - 4, 5 Tues 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 2 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 16:00 - 17:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 3 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Fri 14:00 - 15:50