Education in Computational Biology Today and Tomorrow

March 25, 2017

Education in #CompBio, by @bffo & @joannealisonfox Keeping up in a rapidly changing field. Will implement some @Yale

“These initiatives help to extend computational biology beyond the domain of specialized laboratories. Researchers, at all levels, need to keep themselves up-to-date with the quickly changing world of computational biology, and trainees need programs where bioinformatics skills are embedded so they can have comprehensive training. New bioinformatics workflows can be adopted more widely if education efforts keep pace. As previously pointed out , starting early is also very important. There is still room for programs that capture the excitement and enthusiasm of secondary school students and convey the potential of computational biology to the public. We welcome additions to the PLOS Computational Biology “Bioinformatics: Starting Early” collection (

We would like to involve the community in this endeavor. With this editorial, we are calling out to educators and researchers who have experience in teaching, specifically, those keen to raise the expectations and the inquisitiveness of the next generation of biologists. The Education collection will continue to publish leading edge education materials in the form of tutorials that can be used in a “classroom” setting (whatever that may mean nowadays: stated more generically, “the places where people learn”). We will continue to encourage articles set in the context of addressing a particular biological question and, as mentioned above, we welcome new “primers” and “quick guides.” We will also be inviting tutorials from the various computational meetings. A new category of papers that is in the pipeline for the Education collection is the “Quick Tips” format, the first of which was just published . The “Quick Tips” articles address specific tools or databases that are in wide use in the community.