Bridging the gap between genetics and organic chemistry at UIUC

         December 9, 2014

As Dr. Andreas Scherer mentioned in a blog post earlier this year, Golden Helix is committed to supporting the education of the next generation of genetic researchers. And as such, over the course of 2014, we at Golden Helix are working with education programs across the US and Canada to make teaching and learning bioinformatics easier.

This fall semester at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Jeffrey Moore introduced his students to VarSeq. Dr. Moore, who was recently named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor seeks to integrate genetics into organic chemistry education to investigate the underlying causes of conditions explored in many facets of science.

I recently interviewed Dr. Moore to find out a bit more about his educational goals.

Dr. Moore’s philosophy as an educator is to continually feed curiosity by creating a curriculum that is meaningful to his students as well as being modern and relevant. Moore intends to map the core concepts of organic chemistry to genetics by allowing his students to collect and investigate their personal, genotype data. Moore believes that this approach will provide his students with a meaningful connection to the class and in turn motivate learning and personal understanding.

Moore’s program started off small this semester by introducing students to VarSeq in order to navigate through genotype data. However, the program will grow and provide advanced classes where students will learn how to use SNP & Variation Suite (SVS) to complete workflows and interpret by making predictions surrounding their genotype data.

When I asked Dr. Moore why he chose Golden Helix, he told me, “While my educational goals need a robust software solution, more important to me is working with a company who’s philosophy aligns with my own.” He went on to say “I appreciated Golden Helix’s website being focused on education – webcasts and tutorials – as well as the transparency of their algorithms and strong desire to prepare future researchers for the field.”

And Dr. Moore is correct. Golden Helix is committed to making teaching and learning genetic analysis more accessible. We offer fully documented software which is ideal for teaching in order to review the underlying methods. We can also provide professors with the support to put together a course including sample data, videos, tutorials, and as always, we are backed by a team with extensive analytic knowledge.

If you are interested in utilizing the Golden Helix software solutions as part of your curriculum, please contact us.

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