Educational Opportunities

Hands-on Bioinformatics Learning Sessions

In conjunction with the Genetics Cluster Initiative, the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) hosts a monthly mini-course focusing on a bioinformatics tool or software.  Regularly scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month from 10:00 AM to Noon, the Hands-on Bioinformatics Learning Session covered topics such as UCSC Genome Browser, Kallisto/Sleuth and R programming language. Each mini-course has limited registration due to the interactive nature of the content.  Since the registration is limited to 12 participants per session, the IIHG and GCI will repeat topics more than once per year depending on the demand.  Sessions are free to attend, and refreshments are provided.

  • April 18, 2019
  • Registration will open soon.  Space is limited to 12 participants.

Bioinformatics Summer Short Course

A three-day course held during the summer semester. The morning sessions are seminars by both invited speakers as well as on campus speakers who speak about bioinformatics research and techniques that are of interest to the broader campus community. The afternoon sessions are hands-on tutorials intended to be either introductory or require minimal bioinformatics experience.  Course fees are determined each year and fees are waived for IIHG members and their labs.

Personalized Genomic Medicine: Careers in Bioinformatics and Big Data Information Session

The Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) is hosting a Careers in Bioinformatics Information Session to expose students to career opportunities that are being created by personalized genomic medicine in bioinformatics and the management of big data. You can learn first-hand about the diversity of career options and job growth in bioinformatics that is occurring with the advent of personalized genomic medicine. Listen to a panel with expertise in bioinformatics, software development, systems administration, clinical informatics, and industry and their role in the field of personalized genomic medicine. Undergraduate students, academic advisors and graduate students wishing to learn more about careers in bioinformatics. Enrollment is limited to 50 participants. 

Bioinformatics Summer Internships

Click here for more information on the 2017 summer internship.

The Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) in collaboration with the Genetics Cluster Initiative (GCI) are offering a Bioinformatics Summer Internship for undergraduate students interested in a bioinformatics and personalized genomic medicine.  The 8-week Bioinformatics Summer Internship Program, intended for undergraduate students and recent graduates, is an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in informatics. These internships focus on informatics, under the direction of a faculty member at the University of Iowa.

Bioinformatics User Group (BUG)

A meeting that covers a wide variety of topics interesting to both bioinformatics professionals as well as newer users. The broad theme is bioinformatics and resources on campus that are useful for both people involved in bioinformatics research as well as life science investigators who may be performing their own analysis or collaborating with established bioinformatics groups. Past topics include, introductory R, geneGo, Lasergene, Partek and others. We are always looking for new topics or speakers so please feel free to contact us for suggestions on upcoming sessions. Please contact us to get on our announcement mailing list. 

Bioinformatics Lecture Series

This annual lecture series will bring in an invited speaker from a bioinformatics background to talk about their area of expertise and research.


Growth in human genetics research is driving the increasing use of genetics in medical practice. The environment of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) provides unique opportunities to make progress in both the discovery and translational phases of human genetics. The IIHG is a statewide resource that promotes clinical care, research, and education in human genetics and is focused on bringing personalized genomic medicine to the state of Iowa. We currently have YouTube videos for the following topics:

  • 10X Genomics Loupe Single Cell Browser Explained in 7 minutes: This video is a short introduction to the 10X Genomics desktop single-cell browser software called "Loupe Cell Browser." In 7 minutes, I attempt to explain the basic features of the software and how you can use it to quickly get a view onto your single-cell data. We in the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics Bioinformatics Division have the pipelines and expertise necessary to help you process and analyze your 10X single-cell experiments, including 3' and 5' gene expression and VDJ sequencing. Please call or email our Director, Diana Kolbe ( for an appointment to discuss your project! Please note: I am not affiliated in any way with 10X Genomics, and I do not receive any compensation for this review. I have no conflict of interest to report. I am simply giving my opinion on a piece of software that I like and have used recently. You can find more about this software and 10X single-cell workflows here:

  • Introduction to RNA-Seq for Researchers: This screencast is an adaptation of a talk I (Michael Chimenti) gave here at the University of Iowa for the TEK talks series this fall, 2017. It provides an overview of RNA-Seq generally, and then delves into each of the steps providing tips and best practices along the way.

  • RNA-seq results explained: what you can expect from an analysis: In this video, I briefly explain what you can expect to get back from us when you collaborate with the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics Bioinformatics core to analyze your RNA-Seq experiments.

  • Quick Start Guide to Running Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA): In this video, we will discuss how to quickly get started running an IPA core analysis. This includes uploading external data, formatting it to work with IPA, and setting filters on gene features.

RNA-Seq with Kallisto and Sleuth (3 part series)

Working with UCSC Genome Browser: 

  • IIHG Intro to the UCSC Genome Browser | Part 1 of 5: In this video, I will present an overview of the UCSC Genome Browser. This screencast is part one of a five-part series from our February 2016 Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) minicourse presentation. I will discuss:

    • UCSC homepage

    • Genome Browser gateway page

    • Selecting an assembly

    • Searching in the search box

    • Explore the genome browser default view

    • Pan and zoom controls

    • Position and search box

    • Valid search terms

    • Chromosome ideogram

    • Base position track

    • Middle page controls

    • Track controls

    • Some tips and tricks for scrolling and highlighting

    • Reordering tracks

  • IIHG Intro to the UCSC Genome Browser | Part 2 of 5: Welcome to part 2 of this introduction to the UCSC Genome Browser. This screencast is part of a bioinformatics minicourse from the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) in February, 2016. In this section, we’ll discuss:

    • Navigating a gene track info click through page

    • Locating introns and exons

    • The default annotation tracks and their meaning

    • Selecting, hiding, and viewing data tracks

    • The gene detail page

  • IIHG Intro to the UCSC Genome Browser | Part 3 of 5: This screencast is part three of a five-part series from our February 2016 Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) minicourse presentation. In Part 3, I'll discuss:

    • dbSNP tracks

    • Clinical genetics and copy number variation

    • Literature reviews

    • pFam domains

    • GENCODE codon numbers

  • IIHG Intro to the UCSC Genome Browser | Part 4 of 5: This screencast is part four of a five-part series from our February 2016 Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) minicourse presentation. In Part 4 I’ll discuss:

    • How to get DNA sequences of a particular region

    • How to search by DNA or protein sequence within a genome

    • Brief comparision of hg38 to hg19, still the most widely-used reference assembly.

  • IIHG Intro to the UCSC Genome Browser | Part 5 of 5: This screencast is part five of a five-part series from our February 2016 Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) minicourse presentation. In part 5 I'll discuss:

    • Converting or comparing between assemblies like hg19 and hg38

    • Saving your genome browser analyses with sessions

    • Generating figures for manuscripts