Department Seminars

April 23, 2008
Bioinformatics: Who Needs It?

Michael Walter, Associate Professor of Biology at UNI will deliver a CS seminar on Wednesday, April 23, at 3:30 PM in 322 ITTC.


Prof. Walter will discuss the study of bioinformatics from the perspective of biology students, and in particular the Biology department's new course on bioinformatics applications. He will also present some recent developments that are driving bioinformatics forward and make it essential for researchers to focus on the topic. Finally, he will share some research ideas on which biologists and computer scientists at UNI may be able to collaborate.

Michael Walter earned his M.S. degree in Plant Pathology at Oregon State University 1986 and his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Washington State University. Much of his research deals with phages, viruses that parasitize bacteria. Phages are he most abundant and most diverse 'form of life' on the planet. Phage DNA data feeds into his growing phage data base, which he and his students use to compare phage DNA to others, using web-based bioinformatics tools. This helps them to characterize phage genes that might code for bacteria-binding-and-bursting enzymes. In his research, he collaborates with the Molecular Biology, Environmental Microbiology, Plant Molecular Biology, Plant Anatomy and Immunology Labs in the Department of Biology, and with bioinformatics researchers in the Department of Computer Science.


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