An Inspiring Bioinformatics Workshop

An Inspiring Bioinformatics Workshop

8 February 2023

The Bioinformatics Club was enormously privileged to host Dr Simon Andrews, Head of Bioinformatics, and his colleague, Dr Sarah Inglesfield, from the world-renowned Babraham Institute in Cambridge, on Friday 27 January.

They did not come to give us a talk about what they do, rather they came to show us how to use their bespoke software so that we can analyse genomic bigdata ourselves here in school, to make a genuine contribution to the scientific community. Having a bioinformatics club at WHS makes us very unusual …. bioinformatics is a relatively new interdisciplinary field in science, drawing together skills in biology and computer science. It is usually only studied as a postgraduate university course.

For our Year 11 and 12 budding bioinformaticians to have the opportunity to undertake novel research alongside world class scientists is truly awe-inspiring. There was a real buzz in the room as the biology and maths learnt in class suddenly came to life with true purpose. Dr Andrews and Dr Inglefield were as impressed with how quickly our students picked up the new skills as we were with the marvellous patterns that were hidden in the genetic information of two populations of mice: one group that had been genetically modified to remove a gene (knockouts) and another that had not (the wildtypes). We are now set to explore the data further and will report back our findings on a shared portal between our school and the Babraham Institute.

“They were really friendly and it was so interesting and informative.” Safa

“It was a fun and engaging experience. I learnt a lot about data.” Sumaira

Dr Risso and Dr Roper, Biology Department

Watch snippets of the session on YouTube

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