Applications Now Open: Bioinformatics Research Experience for Students


When Dr. Lewis L. Coriell founded what’s now known as the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in the 1950s, he knew he was building a foundation. At his new institute, he developed a laminar flow hood to address contamination issues plaguing biologists at the time, and he created a biobank that perfected culturing and storage techniques that allowed for a standardized central resource of trusted biomaterials.

He also knew the importance of education. Without a new generation of trained scientists, there would be no one to continue his and his team’s hard work. In that tradition, educating young scientists remains a pillar of the Coriell Institute.

This year marks the second year of the Bioinformatics Research Experience (BRE), a paid training program for undergraduate students interested in learning this new, rapidly evolving field at the intersection of biology and data. The BRE is held virtually and gives students the opportunity to get started in this growing branch of science and receive instruction from Coriell’s bioinformatics staff.

“Because bioinformatics is so new, there wasn’t much out there for undergraduate or even graduate students when I was in school and interested in learning bioinformatics,” said Kelsey Keith, an associate bioinformatics scientist at Coriell. “We’ve designed the Bioinformatics Research Experience to be a great first step into this field.”

Students in the program learn the basics of biological data analysis using the R language, including importing, wrangling, transforming, visualizing, modeling, and communicating data, as well as how to read and review peer-reviewed scientific literature.

The 2021 Bioinformatics Research Experience runs from July 6 through July 30 on Tuesdays through Fridays and will be held remotely. At the successful completion of the program, students will receive $1,000. Students from Coriell’s home state of New Jersey are especially encouraged to apply.

More information on the specifics of the program including how to apply can be found here and to see content from last year’s BRE, click here.

It's important to note that applicants must have access to a computer of sufficient specifications and access to the internet (detailed at the program information link above) and must be available to attend each day of the program.

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