The international Master Program in Life Science Informatics started in the fall of 2002 at the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (b-it). Life Science Informatics is offered jointly by the University of Bonn and RWTH Aachen in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institutes at Sankt Augustin near Bonn. This interdisciplinary program will educate the participant to successfully master the novel technical and economic challenges at the crossroads of biotechnology, medicine, pharmaceutics and computer science. The program is distinguished by its international orientation, its focus on both natural science and IT competence, and its high level of integration of research and teaching. The master's program in Life Science Informatics consists of three main blocks:
- Computer science and mathematics for natural scientists,
- Basic principles of Life Science Informatics,
- Chemoinformatics and computer-aided drug design
- Biology of the cell and systems biology
The program is characterised by a significant share of research lab courses embedded in both basic and applied research of the participating Fraunhofer Institutes of Applied Information Technology (FIT) and for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) , in cooperation with regional industry. Major topics include: biomedical database systems, management and retrieval of information, data mining and machine learning, statistical genetics, computer-aided drug design, chemoinformatics, medical imaging, visualisation, computational disease modelling, modelling of molecular networks, algorithmic bioinformatics and systems biology. Special courses and internships on information retrieval and data mining provide a special focus on (or within) the important application domain of biomedical information systems. The program also includes training designed to sensitise students to the ethical implications of emerging biotechnologies.