Bioinformatics —  the new trend in digital medicine — is studied now in Moldova!

Information technologies are the ones that give speed to progress! In addition to rockets launched into space, talking robots or flying machines, today thousands of innovative medical devices and minimally invasive treatments contribute to increasing the lifespan of humanity and its evolution.

Bioinformatics is the one that can claim “gold” in the development of medicine. Based on data analysis, this branch of science has made it possible to better understand genetics, and as a result — has allowed researchers to quickly provide innovative solutions to save human lives. For example, the survival time of cancer patients has doubled in the last 10 years, thanks to genetic tests that have identified gene changes, and scientists can already create new vaccines in record time to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as was the one against COVID-19. This year, 23 students, resident doctors, teachers and PhD students of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu” (USMF) have the chance to participate in an “Advanced Training Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Medicine”. This opportunity was offered to them thanks to the Startup Moldova program of the TEKWILL project, supported by USAID and Sweden.

Ana Chirița, director of the TEKWILL project: “Bioinformatics has an essential role in the development of the health field, so the data allow researchers to identify trends and unlock perspectives that favor new medical discoveries. However, this implies academic potential, talent and professionalism. At TEKWILL, we encourage cooperation between universities and the IT industry through specialized programs. As part of the “Health Tech Vertical”, we are committed to contributing to the development of the capacity to integrate digital innovations in the university training process and in the scientific research activity for tomorrow’s medicine of the Republic of Moldova.“

American experiences for students from Chisinau — practical internship in California

The program will run for 6 months (theory and practice), during which participants will learn about research, collection, organization and processing of biological data using computerized means, tools that study the structure of the human genome and how it works in the cell. All this is in order to understand the causes and mechanism of disease development, prevention and treatment solutions. The lessons are conducted online and are taught by Professor Sergei Mangul, Head of Laboratory, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, who has extensive experience in the field of bioinformatics. Serghei Mangul is originally from the Republic of Moldova. He studied at the State University of Moldova, Faculty of Mathematics, and later continued his postgraduate studies in Bioinformatics at the State University of Georgia, USA. He continued the same field of research at the University of California, where he focused on the development of bioinformatics methods and the large-scale simulation of large-scale clinical and biological data sets to better understand the aetiology of disease.

Emil Ceban, rector of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu”: “Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science that deals with the development of software methods and tools and helps to interpret data of biological importance. These methods and programs are applied in personalized medicine to analyze data from genome sequencing or gene expression to determine mutations or genetic variants that may affect a patient’s response to a particular drug preparation, or change the prognosis of the disease. Thus, bioinformatics helps to diagnose diseases, by applying information technologies and informatics in a biomedical context, to study, analyze and process genetic, molecular and clinical information. “

In the future, young genetics researchers will have the necessary skills to use information technology, aimed at analyzing, interpreting and visualizing biomedical data.

Stanislav Groppa, Vice-Rector for Research at the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu”: “The launch of this course is the result of strategic actions to strengthen research, initiated by the National Institute for Research in Medicine and Health (INCMS). “In order to implement the concept of education through research, focused on the integrative approach in training the skills of future doctors, INCMS has started a series of international collaborations aimed at capitalizing on the professional experience of Moldovan citizens in the medical diaspora, by involving them in evaluation and strengthening activities. of the human resources training component in research.”

Upon completion of the study program, participants will complete a 3-month internship in international bioinformatics projects at the University of Southern California, USA. The people who will demonstrate remarkable results will have the opportunity to be employed in the bioinformatics laboratory, which will be created at the National Institute for Research in Medicine and Health within the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu” in the Republic of Moldova. The aim of the initiative is to expand the possibilities of strengthening the field of research and innovation, by creating research nuclei, able to intervene at different stages of development.

About Startup Moldova

Vertical HealthTech is a platform of the national program Startup Moldova, which connects various actors in the medical and IT field, to create opportunities for the development of innovations and startups in the field. The Moldova Startup Program is intended for current and potential entrepreneurs and is developed within the TEKWILL Project, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sweden. The main objective of the Tekwill Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country, by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of the members of society, but also the research and development potential of higher education institutions, in line with the demand on the IT market.

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