Saint Louis University
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology


Our interdisciplinary program brings together expertise from within the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Mathematics & Statistics from SLU's College of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in SLU's School of Medicine.

We offer the following degree paths:

  • Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB)
    This 30-credit hour program can be completed in a year and a half by a well-prepared student, or in two years by students who enter while still needing some prerequisite biology or computer science coursework.

  • Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program
    Students can complete an undergraduate degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Computer Science, or Mathematics, together with the Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in a compressed timeframe.

  • A Pathway for international students leading to the Master of Science
    SLU has partnered with INTO University Partnerships to provide additional support structures for students needing to improve their English language comprehension while beginning their pursuit of the Master's program curriculum.

Why Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

The use of computational techniques and information systems has revolutionized research in the biological sciences — from the analysis of DNA sequences and the understanding of gene expression and regulation, to the strutural modeling of proteins and RNAs and the evolutionary relationship between species. Advances in bioinformatics and computational biology may now play a central role in many fields such as

GenomicsStructural biologyDisease genetics
BiochemistryMedical imagingSystems biology

Our academic programs prepare students with the fundamentals of computation and analysis of big data sets, and the use of computational methods to model and solve problems involving complex biological systems. Current students are exposed to research and industry experiences, and graduates of our program are well prepared for careers in biotechnology and related fields, or for further research in doctoral programs.

Bioscience in St. Louis

St. Louis has one of the largest and fastest growing biotechnology sectors in the nation. Our industry advisory board includes representation from organizations such as Appistry, BioSTL, Cofactor Genomics, Confluence Discovery Technologies, Donald Danforth Plant Sciences Center, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto, MoGene, and Sigma-Aldrich. These organizations and others provide a rich landscape for internships and employment opportunities for students in our program. See the website for the BioSTL coalition for more information about the region's bioscience industries.


Bioinformatics and Beers with Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Friday, 24 February 2017 from 4:00-6:30pm
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 N. Warson Road
Lightning talks and a social hour will bring together community members from Saint Louis University and the Danforth Center (Announcement Flier)

Career Panel
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 from 6:00-8:00pm in BSC 253A/B
We will be hosting a panel of industry representatives who will discuss careers in bioinformatics. Organizations represented inlcude Monsanto, Danforth Plant Sciences Center, Cofactor Genomics, and Washington University School of Medicine. (Announcement Flier)

Colloquium Series
Please see the schedule for our regular colloquium series

Program News

BITWISE Scholarship Program
A five-year award from the National Science Foundation will provide over $500,000 in scholarship support for academically-talented students with demonstrated financial need as they join the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Master's program at SLU. The NSF award also provides funds for additional student support structures related to our program. Click here for more information.

SLU Student Dives into Plant Genomes During Internship at Danforth Plant Science Center
Grace Kenney, a student in the M.S. program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, completed an internship with the Danforth Plant Science Center during Summer of 2017, working in Dr. Blake Meyers' lab. Read more about Grace's work in the August issue of their Roots & Shoots Blog.

Student wins $25000 Monsanto Graduate Student Scholarship
Pruthvi Pota, second-year student in the M.S. program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, has recently been awarded a $25000 Monsanto Graduate Student Scholarship. These scholarships are dedicated to students who are enrolled or admitted in a Master of Science degre program in a STEM field. Applications for next year's awards will be accepted through May 1, 2017.

Dr. Dapeng Zhang Joins SLU
Dr. Dapeng Zhang joins the Department of Biology in Fall 2016, having previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). See Dr. Zhang's homepage for more information on his background and interests.

Dr. Ahn Receives NSF Research Award
Dr. Ted Ahn has received a two-year award from the National Science Foundation to support his research on "Accelerating Human Microbiome Analysis using Lightning-Fast Cloud Computing." (Full story)

Dr. Ted Ahn Joins SLU
Dr. Ted Ahn joins the Department of Computer Science in Fall 2015, having previously worked as a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Read more about Dr. Ahn's interests on the website for his BioHPC Lab

Master's Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Launched in Fall 2015
The innaugural class of students joined our program in Fall 2015, and the first graduates will be completing their degree in December 2016. (Full story)

Contact Us

If you have questions or want to learn more about the program, please email us at