Introductory Bioinformatics Books for Computer Scientists

Philipp Pagel philipp.pagel at
Thu Jun 26 12:11:30 EST 2003

David Murphy <DavidMurphy at> wrote:
> I am interested in finding a book that I can read to get an
> introduction to this field. Most books I have seen so far appear to be
> for biologists needing to gain computer science skills. EG how to
> setup Linux, program in Pearl etc which I *DONT* need.

> I would appreciate any recommendations for books that will introduce
> someone with a strong and broad computer science background to the
> bioinformatics area of study. I need knowledge on the prerequisite
> biology concepts and the types of problems in that
> bioinformatics/computational biology is addressing via computer
> science etc.

The bioinformatics book I recommend would be:

David W. Mount
Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis
CSHL Press

This is my favourite bioinformatcs book. It gives a pretty nice
introduction to the field. For up to date bioinformatics there is no way
around the primary literature in scientific journals.

As for biological background no bioinformatics book will really be
sufficient. What you want is real biology books on genetics,
cell biology and maybe biochemistry - e.g.:

1 Harvey Lodish, et al. 
  Molecular Cell Biology 
  (I like this one)

2 Bruce Alberts, et al.
  Molecular Biology of the Cell 
  (Many other people prefer this one)

3 Bruce Alberts, et al.
  Essential Cell Biology: An introducton to the Molecular Biology of the
  (This a short version of 2)

4 Benjamin Lewin
  Genes VII
  (Great book for everything from DNA to Protein)

5 Leland Hartwell (Editor), Ricki Lewis 
  Genetics: From Genes to Genomes
  (Don't have this one, but supposedly good)

6 Lubert Stryer
  (Great book on biochemistry)

I recommend getting (3) first. When you're done with that you may want
something more genetics oriented. That will probably give you enough
information for getting a grip on bioinformatics.


Dr. Philipp Pagel                                Tel.  +49-89-3187-3675
Institute for Bioinformatics / MIPS              Fax.  +49-89-3187-3585
GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health
Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1
85764 Neuherberg

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