Bioinformatics student observing data on a computer.

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Find and interpret patterns in large and complex biological data.

Application Deadline is December 10.

Program Overview

  • Provides students with educational and research training in broad areas of computational, evolutionary, and functional genomics
  • Offers optional specialization in algorithms and computation and statistical genomics
  • Delivers problem-based instruction, starting with exposure to bioinformatics and genomics tools and moving on to in-depth analysis of genomic and proteomic data
  • Positions students to be competitive for NIH-funded training fellowships in the “Computation, Bioinformatics, and Statistics”, “Biomedical Big Data to Knowledge”, or “Eukaryotic Gene Regulation” programs
  • Offers both M.S. and Ph.D. programs, including laboratory rotations
  • The Penn State Bioinformatics & Genomics program does not accept or consider GRE scores as part of our admission decision process. We employ a holistic review based on several criteria including academic performance, research experience, participation in scientific and professional development activities, and accomplishments outside of academia, among others

Opportunities for Underrepresented Minorities and Students with Disability

The bioinformatics and genomics program actively recruits students of diversity and disability. Senior undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience may consider attending the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) and STEM open house. Accommodations are available for students with disabilities. Students are considered for predoctoral trainee fellowship support.


Okafor receives 2021 National Science Foundation CAREER Award

C. Denise Okafor, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been honored with a Faculty Early Career Development award from the U.S. National Science Foundation. The award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor in support of early-career faculty members who have the potential to serve as academic role models.

Nanoscale ‘computer’ controls function of protein, influences cell behavior

The creation of nanoscale computers for use in precision health care has long been a dream of many scientists and health care providers. Now, for the first time, researchers at Penn State have produced a nanocomputing agent that can control the function of a particular protein that is involved in cell movement and cancer metastasis.

Scientists uncover the genetic pathway that colors bumble bee stripes

While most people in the U.S. may think of bumble bees as the standard yellow and black variety, there are an estimated 260 bee species that sport about 400 different color patterns. One reason many people associate bumble bees with distinct colors is because evolution can influence multiple bee species to share similar color patterns in specific geographic regions, which scientists call mimicry.

New way to image whole organisms in 3D brings key skin color pigment into focus

To understand the biological underpinnings of skin and hair pigmentation and related diseases such as albinism or melanoma, scientists and doctors need quantitative, three-dimensional information about the architecture, content and location of pigment cells. Penn State College of Medicine researchers have developed a new technique that allows scientists to visualize every cell containing melanin pigment in 3D, in whole zebrafish.