, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 375-382
Date: 27 Oct 2012

Bioinformatics in Middle East program curricula—a focus on the Arabian Gulf

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the inclusion of bioinformatics in program curricula in the Middle East, focusing on educational institutions in the Arabian Gulf. Bioinformatics is a multidisciplinary field which has emerged in response to the need for efficient data storage and retrieval, and accurate and fast computational and statistical methods to handle huge amounts of biological data. Bioinformatics is an important field and has great impact on advances in biological, medical, and pharmaceutical research. Although, several worldwide universities have already implemented bioinformatics in their undergraduate and postgraduate programs for more than a decade, the results of our investigation show that very few educational institutions (less than 1 %) have recently implemented bioinformatics in their undergraduate programs. Therefore, it is important to promote this field in the region and to include it in undergraduate program curricula, and thereby introducing students to bioinformatics tools for solving biological problems, preparing them for future careers taking into account job market trends, and preparing students who wish to pursue research career to make significant contribution to the field.