Home

News

EDUCATION

Bioinformatics: New research school at the University of Bergen

The new research school NORBIS aims to improve the PhD training in bioinformatics and biostatistics. Improved methods to gain more biological insight into the growing amount of biological data is the goal of the project.

breddebilde.jpg

Anne-Sophie Schillinger and Christine Stansberg coordinates the new research school.
COORDINATORS: Anne-Sophie Schillinger and Christine Stansberg coordinates the new research school.
Photo:
Solfrid T. Langeland

The new research school NORBIS aims to improve the PhD training in bioinformatics and biostatistics. Improved methods to gain more biological insight into the growing amount of biological data is the goal of the project.

The reseach school NORBIS was newly established in bioinformatics, biostatistics and systems biology. NORBIS aims to improve the quality of PhD training and recruitment to these fields of research.

 

Growing in importance

“Bioinformatics and biostatistics have a growing importance for the life sciences, such as biology, molecular biology, biomedicine, etc. Research today increasingly includes studies on molecular levels and to generate and analyse big sets of data. The researchers in life sciences are major consumers of bioinformatics, biostatistics, and systems biology methods and it is important for Norway to have a front line research in this fields,” says Professor Inge Jonassen at the Department of Informatics and academic leader of NORBIS.

The research school is supported by the Research Council of Norway with a 24 million NOK grant for an eight-year period. NORBIS is comprised of the eight universities in Norway.

Since 2008, the Research Council of Norway has financially supported the building of national research schools in Norway. This has resulted in 15 national research schools.

NORBIS aims to offer five courses each year, and the first course is on 16–20 November.

 

Improving life quality

NORBIS wants to recruit PhDs who are interested in bioinformatics, biostatistics or system biology and in the methodology in these fields. The research school also wants to include master’s students or postdoctoral fellows in their activity. The work is also dependent of the researchers activity and engagement.

What does society have to gain from the NORBIS research school?

“The students gain substantial knowledge of bioinformatics and biostatistics methods and how to use them in life science. This will contribute to increased quality in biological and biomedical research and practice that again will contribute to the development of biotechnological industry and better health services and life quality,” says Jonassen.

 

Drowning in data

 “Today we have enormous amounts of biological data, and many researchers feel they are drowning in data. This is why we are in need of researchers who have the ability to create tools to analyse big sets of data. The development in this area is massive, and all the professional fields seek to develop their own analytical tools. Not all the work in life sciences can be done in the laboratories,” says Christine Stansberg.

She coordinates NORBIS along with Anne-Sophie Schillinger.

Stansberg says that there is a big appetite for the knowledge NORBIS offers. Locally in the Bergen area, this includes hospitals and the Institute of Marine Research. 

“I hope and believe that many researchers will discover that this research is relevant and useful for them. One thing that is definitively clear is that the areas of biostatistics and bioinformatics will be very important in the time to come.”