In light of the current situation and increase in teleworking, we have put this page together to make everyone aware of online resources available to help you learn bioinformatics skills remotely.

(1) online platform DataQuest for learning programming skills (starting by 4/25, approximately)

(2) “Bioinformatics for Beginners” with the Biostar Handbook course (currently available)

(3) For analysis of NGS data (no programming required), please see the OSTR website for information on Partek, Qlucore and Qiagen.

(4) Training and education classes will be moving online, please see the NIH Bioinformatics Calendar.

To apply for remote learning license (Dataquest or Biostar) please fill out this survey.

Dataquest is an online learning platform that includes topics in programming (Unix, R, Python), statistics, machine learning, SQL databases, Git version control and more.

This platform is designed for learners with no previous programming experience, who want to gain skills in programming as a foundation for learning bioinformatics. It includes lessons from the beginner to intermediate level, with some advanced topics.


  1. Learners will work online at their own pace using the DataQuest website for a minimum of 2 hours per week
  2. Learners will submit questions and comments to the online “Question & Answer” forum
  3. Learners will participate in regularly scheduled online “Question & Answer” sessions (WebEx)

You must submit an application and be approved to get a DataQuest license. Learners are expected to make progress every week. If a license has been assigned and it is not being used, that license may be recycled to another learner. Licenses last for one year.

To apply for a DataQuest license, please send email to :

To see the entire DataQuest course catalog, please see

“Bioinformatics for Beginners” with the Biostar Handbook

This course is designed for learners who have no previous experience with bioinformatics analysis of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data and want to learn basic bioinformatics topics and skills. This course contains a chapter on the Unix command line, but does not teach specific programming languages like R or python. For those skills, please see the DataQuest course.

Topics include:

  • Unix command line
  • Data sources and formats (fasta, fastq)
  • Visualizing data
  • Sequence and gene ontology
  • Reproducibility
  • Sequencing instruments, data and quality control
  • BLAST and short read alignment
  • Genomic variation and variation calling
  • RNA-Seq principles and example


  1. Learners will read materials assigned on a weekly basis.
  2. Learners will do class exercises
  3. Learners will post questions and comments to an online “Question & Answer” forum that is specific to the class
  4. Learners will participate in regularly scheduled “Question & Answer” sessions (WebEx)

Registration for this class has closed. If you are interested in joining a future session, please send email to

Please click here to preview the Biostar handbook.