Bioinformatics comprise development and use of methods from computer science, statistics, physics, chemistry to approach problems in molecular biology. At the University of Bergen, the activity was initiated around 1990 by researchers at the Department of Informatics (II) and the Molecular Biology Department (MBI). Today II offers several courses directed towards last-year Bachelor students as well as Master and PhD students. The are courses focusing on informatics aspects, mainly algorithms and machine learning. MBI offer courses in applied bioinformatics. The two departments aim to develop a joint Bachelor study program in bioinformatics.
A large part of the research activity in bioinformatics at the University of Bergen takes place at the Computational Biology Unit (CBU) established in 2002. CBU hosts several research groups that focus on molecular biology research questions, addressed via the development of new computational methods and software. CBU also hosts a service group that serves users from the community of biological and biomedical researchers in need of bioinformatics in their own research. CBU coordinates a National Technology Platform funded by the FUGE program from the Research Council of Norway providing services and training to the Norwegian functional genomics researchers.
The groups at II, MBI, and CBU are co-located and together constitute the largest bioinformatics research community in Norway (staff of more than 30).
All bioinformatics students need to have basic training in both biology and informatics but most will mainly focus on one of the two disciplines when choosing courses and projects.