You are here

Genome Biology and Bioinformatics

Genome Biology and Bioinformatics: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​Lead Faculty

Arts and Science

Participating Degree Programs

Biomedical Engineering—PhD
Cell and Systems Biology—PhD
Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry—PhD
Computer Science—PhD
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology—PhD
Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology—PhD
Medical Biophysics—PhD
Medical Science—PhD
Molecular Genetics—PhD


The recent elucidation of the genomes of many organisms has led to the appreciation that our knowledge of the function of the proteome and other omes of any given organism is far from complete. A wide range of computational, theoretical, biochemical, structural, cell biological, and genetic approaches need to cooperate to establish the connections between sequence, structure, and function. The Collaborative Specialization in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics addresses this need for cooperation with a coherent course of study that educates and trains doctoral graduate students across these diverse disciplines. The collaborative specialization serves as a model for a content-driven, interdepartmental unit that responds to the University's need to adapt to cutting-edge scientific developments.

The graduate programs listed above participate in the Collaborative Specialization in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics. Upon successful completion of the PhD requirements of the participating home department and the collaborative specialization, students receive the notation "Completed Collaborative Specialization in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics" on their transcript and parchment.

Contact and Address

Email: TBD
Telephone: (416) 978-0774

Collaborative Specialization in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics
Department of Biochemistry
University of Toronto
Room 5207, Medical Sciences Building
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8

Genome Biology and Bioinformatics: Doctoral Level

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants who wish to enrol in the collaborative specialization must apply to and be admitted to both the collaborative specialization and a graduate degree program in one of the collaborating departments. Since this is a doctoral-level course of study, students must be registered in the doctoral program of one of the host departments and must be undertaking research with a significant genome biology and/or bioinformatics component under the supervision of a member of the collaborative specialization.

Program Requirements

  • Complete a PhD thesis and any core courses as required by the student's host department.

  • Complete the interdepartmental courses* or alternates (one of JBB 2026H, JBZ 1472H, JTB 2010H*, or EEB 1460H; and one of BME 1458H, CSC 2417H, ​CSC 2515H, or JTB 2020H*). The interdepartmental courses may be taken in place of some host department PhD course requirements after a student obtains written permission from the host department. Courses not included in the course list below will be considered by the collaborative specialization director on a case-by-case basis. Requests, along with the syllabus of the course in question, should be submitted to the director.

  • Participate in the seminar series and participate in collaborative traineeships in which an aggregate time of two to four months is spent in a collaborating laboratory, thematically working on an aspect of the thesis project but with a complementary method. The goal of the collaborative traineeship is ideally a joint publication between the two member labs.

Genome Biology and Bioinformatics: Courses

Students should take one genome biology/omics course (Group I) and one computational biology/bioinformatics course (Group II) from the following lists. Courses not on these lists will be considered by the collaborative specialization director on a case-by-case basis. Requests, along with the syllabus of the course in question, should be submitted to the director.

Interdepartmental courses mounted by the Genome Biology and Bioinformatics specialization are marked with an asterisk (*).

Group I

​​EEB 1460​H​
​Molecular Evolution
​JBB 2026H
Protein Structure, Folding, and Design​
​JBZ 1472H
Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics​
​JTB 2010H*
Proteomics and Functional Genomics​

Group II

​BME 1458H
​Patter​n Discovery Methods for Biomedical Engineering
​CSC 2417H
Algorithms for Genome Sequence Analysis​​
​CSC 2515H
Introduction to Machine Learning​
​JTB 2020H*
​Applied Bioinformatics​​