Computational Biology and Bioinformatics


The objectives of this Unit are to provide students with knowledge and competence to explore and apply bioinformatics tools on:
1. The study of DNA sequences of genes of interest and genomes.
2. The analysis of the properties, structure and function of proteins.
3. The analysis of evolutionary and phylogenetic relations among molecules and organisms.
4. The study of the genetic variation and structure of natural populations.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Pinto


Weekly - 8,5

Total - 38

Teaching language

Portuguese. Bibliography in English.


Not applicable


• Claverie J-M, Notredame C. 2007. Bioinformatics for dummies, 2nd Ed. Wiley Publishing. 436p.
• Lemey P, Salemi M, Vandamme A-M. 2009. The Phylogenetic Handbook: A Practical Approach to Phylogenetic Analysis and Hypothesis Testing, 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press. 750p.
• Hartl DL, Clark AG. 2007. Principles of Population Genetics, 4th Ed. Sinauer Associates. 545p.

Teaching method

This UC will use the following elements and teaching methods:
1. Theoretical classes (expository method).
2. Theoretical-practical classes (expository/demonstrative method).
3. Practical classes (demonstrative/active method).

Evaluation method

Students will be evaluated by performing a practical exam with an exercise for which students will be required to apply bioinformatics tools. Students will be graded with a score of 0-20 values.
Course evaluation will be done through the IHMT standard survey to assess student satisfaction.

Subject matter

The Unit will be organised into 4 blocks:
1. Analysis of sequences and genomes:
a. Concepts of genomes and genomic.s
b. Genomic databases.
c. DNA sequencing and sequence alignment.
d. Genetic mapping.
e. In silico detection of mutations and genotyping methods.
2. Protein analysis:
a. Concepts of translation and protein structure.
b. Protein databases.
c. Predictive models of protein structure.
d. Protein function analysis.
e. Concepts and applications of proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics.
3. Phylogenetic analysis:
a. Concepts of molecular evolution.
b. Phylogenetic reconstruction methods.
c. Testing models of evolution.
d. Testing selective pressure.
e. Molecular clock analysis.
f. Phylogeography.
4. Informatics solutions for population genetics:
a. Concepts of population genetics.
b. Molecular markers for population genetics.
c. Allele-frequency based genotypic databases.
d. Informatics applications for population genetic analysis.


Programs where the course is taught: