University of Helsinki Department of Computer Science

Department of Computer Science

Department information



Modern biological sciences are based heavily on computational methods. Molecular biology, genetics, and ecology, for instance, require fairly complicated computational methods, and new methods are constantly needed.

Bioinformatics teaching aims at educating developers of such methods, and specialists on managing and processing biological data.

Bioinformatics graduates should acquire firm skills in mathematics and statistics, and basic knowledge in biology. An advanced course in at least one branch of bioinformatics should be taken. After acquiring this strong basis it is possible to flexibly choose the focus of studies in between data analysis and bioinformatics, and to specialize on either one subfield of computer science or gain general knowledge of several subfields.

Graduates are employed as experts of computational methods in research institutes and companies.

Studying Bioinformatics

Graduate studies in bioinformatics are organized under the Master's Degree Programme in Bioinformatics (MBI), that has a call for applications each spring.

Bioinformatics courses and seminars are listed in the teaching programme of MBI.

Non-MBI students possessing the study right of University of Helsinki can participate on the MBI courses (and if there is enough capacity, also seminars) organized by Department of Computer Science. To participate on the MBI courses organized by TKK, the flexible study right is required.

PhD studies

PhD studies in bioinformatics are organized by the graduate school CoMBI (Computational biology, Bioinformatics and Biometry). Bioinformatics emphasis is also possible in the graduate school Hecse.


Bioinformatics and computational biology are strong research fields of the deaprt of computer science, e.g. the National Center of Excellence in Algorithmic Data Analysis and the basic research unit of the research institute HIIT both invest significantly in bioinformatics research.

At the department, also neuroinformatics is studied, that can in broad terms be defined as the intersection of information technology and neuroscience.

Bioinformatics people

At the department of computer science the following professors lead research projects and groups related to bioinformatics:

A more complete list of bioinformatics researchers and teachers can be found on the MBI web pages.

Professor in charge

Study year 2009-2010: Veli Mäkinen.
Last updated August 19, 2009, by Juho Rousu.