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Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics

Bioinformatics and computational biology use of techniques from applied mathematics, informatics, statistics, and computer science to solve biological problems. The terms bioinformatics and computational biology are often used interchangeably, although the former typically focuses on algorithm development and specific computational methods, while the latter focuses more on hypothesis testing and discovery in the biological domain. In general, this type of research includes the development and testing of software tools to generate new knowledge from primary source information deposited in databases and the literature.

Genomics is the large-scale investigation of the structure and function of genes. Understanding the structure and function of genomes aids in drug discovery and development, agricultural research, and other fields.

Proteomics is the genome-wide analysis of protein regulation, expression, structure, post-translational modification, interactions, and function. This term was coined to make an analogy with genomics, yet proteomics is much more complicated than genomics. The genome is a rather constant entity, while the proteome differs between cell types and fluctuates in response to interactions with the environment.

The interdisciplinary MSU faculty in Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Proteomics developed teaching and training programs that responds to current and future needs of the field.


Contact Us

Montana State University

Division of Graduate Education

Molecular Biosciences Program

P.O. Box 172580
Bozeman, MT 59717-2580

(406) 994-6652


Molecular BIOSciences |> Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics
|> Faculty |> Matthew W Fields, Ph. D

Anaerobic Microbiology, Physiology, and Ecology

Current Research

We are interested in environmental signals that are sensed by cells to mediate control over physiology and modes of growth. In particular, we are interested in the genes used to sense environmental changes in response to biotic and abiotic parameters, and how microibal cells respond in order to optimize metabolism. We study both monocultures and indigenous microbial communities to better understand the interrelationships between genomic content and phenotype at different levels of resolution (i.e., DNA to communinty), and how these attributes contribute to stress and survival of biological cells. Within the contexts of cellular responses, we study bacterial systems important for heavy metal biormediation, metal corrosion, extemophilic lifestyles, and bio-energy.

Recent Publications

Clark, M.E., Q. He, Z. He, E.J. Alm, K.H. Huang, T.C. Hazen, A.P. Arkin, J.D. Wall, J. Zhou, and M.W. Fields. 2006. Temporal transcriptomic analyses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough during electron donor depletion. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72:5578-5588.

Fields, M.W., C.E. Bagwell, S.L. Carroll, T. Yan, X. Liu, D.B. Watson, P.M. Jardine, C.S.Criddle, T.C. Hazen, and J. Zhou. 2006. Phylogenetic and functional biomakers as indicators of bacterial community responses to mixed-waste contamination. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40:2601-2607.

Hwang, C., W.-M.Wu, T.J. Gentry, J. Carley, S.L. Carroll, C. Schadt, D. Watson, P.M. Jardine, J. Zhou, R.F. Hickey, C.S. Criddle, and M.W. Fields. 2006. Changes in bacterial community structure correlate with initial operating conditions of a field-scale denitrifying fluidized bed reactor. Appl. Microbiol. Biotech. 71:748-760.

Gao, W., Y. Liu, C.S. Giometti, S.L. Tollaksen, T. Khare, L. Wu, D.M. Klingeman, M.W. Fields and J. Zhou. 2006. Knock-out of a prohibitin-like protein results in alteration of iron metabolism, increased spontaneous mutation and hydrogen peroxide sensitivity in the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis. BMC Genomics 7:76

Fields, M.W., T. Yan, S.-K. Rhee, S.L. Carroll, P.M. Jardine, D.B. Watson, C.S. Criddle and J. Zhou. 2005. Impacts on microbial communities and cultivable isolates from groundwater contaminated with high levels of nitric acid-uranium waste. FEMS Microboil. Ecol. 53:417-428

Matthew W Fields, Ph. D

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Updated: 8/16/08


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