With initial funding from the NSF CyVerse cyber-infrastructure for biology research, DNA Subway was developed in 2010 as a learner-centered set of online tools to introduce students to bioinformatics and big data analysis. This project will update DNA Subway 2.0 as a more flexible, accessible, and capable resource to prepare students for the modern bioscience workforce. By adopting a mobile-first approach, it is expected that this will be the only set of high-level bioinformatics tools to run smoothly on a smartphone. Integrating new tools for Nanopore sequencing and data science will provide a coordinated package for anywhere/anytime DNA sequence analysis, putting community college students at the cutting edge of the bioscience big data revolution.
The project will be led by the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which is the designated Genomics Hub of the InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center. An advisory board of bioinformatics industry experts and faculty from diverse two-year institutions will ensure that DNA Subway 2.0 is workforce ready. The redeveloped resource will rely on NSF's Jetstream2 cloud computing infrastructure, with systems expertise provided by the Texas Advanced Computing Center and NSF's Science Gateways Community Institute. A mentor network will disseminate DNA Subway 2.0 at professional meetings and summer workshops at least half of which will be conducted at minority-serving institutions. Making DNA Subway 2.0 responsive to bioscience workforce needs will bring the benefits of participating in authentic scientific research, increased retention in science and on-time graduation to a broad audience of community college students. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation's economy.