Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Track

Masters  •  PhD


dna-strand-codeBioinformatics and Computational Biology deals with the analysis, handling, and comprehension of the large amounts of data produced by advanced techniques used in modern biological research (especially genomics, proteomics, and molecular and cellular biology).

The Division of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology within DMICE provides a unified academic home for an array of disparate educational programs, inter-linked activities and collaborative research efforts across OHSU and beyond. The interdisciplinary coursework draws on inter-institutional faculty expertise at Portland State University and OHSU, and is synergistic with work in the Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, the Knight Cancer Institute, the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) and the Kaiser Center for Health Research.

Our bioinformatics track offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary submersion in statistics, algorithms, research methods, biology, and computation, with special attention paid to the areas that these competencies overlap (i.e. computational biology). Students are thus given the knowledge and skills to become successful researchers and analysts within the field of bioinformatics.


Primary Faculty

Dr. Shannon McWeeney Functional Genomics, Statistical Genetics, Systems Biology
Dr. Eilis Boudreau Computational Neuroscience, Imaging
Dr. Aaron Cohen Text Mining, Information Retrieval, NLP
Dr. Judith Logan Databases
Dr. Kemal Sönmez Functional Genomics, Systems Biology




Bioinformatics has become increasingly algorithmic and quantitative, in particular in the area known as computational biology. The primary goal of Master’s program in bioinformatics is to provide students with a rigorous grounding in the tools needed to successfully address current problems in the field. Students are thus given the knowledge and skills to become successful researchers and analysts within the field of bioinformatics.


The masters program consists of the following core curriculum:

• Bioinformatics and computational biology
• Biomedical sciences
• Biostatistics
• Computer science
• Electives and graduation requirements

The Master of Science curriculum consists of 60 credits, divided between 48 credits of coursework and 12 credits of thesis work.



The mission of the Biomedical Informatics PhD program is to develop independent researchers, dedicated teachers and imaginative leaders in healthcare, academia, and industry. The development of leaders who can bring novel strategies and new ideas to the interdisciplinary domain of biomedical informatics is also a high priority objective.


The PhD program consists of the following core curriculum:

• Core Knowledge of Biomedical Informatics
• Doctoral Symposium
• Biostatistics
• Mentored Teaching
• Advance Research Methods
• Research/Dissertation
• Cognate Area of Study

A minimum of 135 credits are required for graduation. The table below details the distribution of credits. There will be a residency requirement of 12 - 15 credits for six consecutive terms in accordance with the by-laws of the School of Medicine Graduate Council.

Distribution of Credits
Demonstration of Biomedical Informatics Knowledge


Minimum 43 credits of subject courses required. Students with a background in certain areas (e.g., medicine or computer science) may substitute other courses but still must complete minimum 43 credits


Reading and Conference


10 credits minimum


Advanced Research Methods


12 credits minimum; coherent set of courses beyond research methods minimum of master’s program.


Cognate Area


12 credits minimum; cohesive set of courses to demonstrate depth in a cognate area in biomedical informatics.




3 credits minimum


Mentored Teaching Prep and Mentored Teaching


8 credits minimum (2 x 4 credits per sequence)


Research and Dissertation


48 credits


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