R for Biology (Free)


This introductory module helps you get started with R, a powerful software tool for biological data analysis. We cover the absolute basics and share with you the essence of why R is so useful. You will also receive information on the best online resources to continue learning.

Questions You Will Be Able to Answer after This Module

  1. Concepts of vectors and data frames.

  2. Install and load external libraries in R.

  3. Know about important libraries (dplyr, ggplot, magrittr, stringr, Bioconductor modules).

  4. Render and view Rmarkdown files. Share work.

Module Length

One session of two hours.





  1. Unlike other programming languages, R is vector based. We will explain what that means.

  2. We will show you why R is more effective than Excel for analyzing tabular data.

  3. We will show you why R is the favorite tool of the statisticians.

  4. We will walk you through some of the powerful R libraries (e.g. Bioconductor, dplyr, ggplot, stringr) used for bioinformatics, tabular data analysis, visualization and searching through genome/protein sequences.

  5. We will briefly introduce you to R markdown and reproducible research.


Biology changed substantially due to the advent of high-throughput sequencing (NGS) technologies. These technologies give researchers immense power to ask novel questions at the genomic scale. However, analyzing NGS data is not trivial, because it requires skills in programming and statistics.

R has become an essential tool for biological data analysis. Also, it is incredibly easy to learn. This summer, we taught R to many high-school students with no programming background, and they all found the platform easy to use. Based on that experience, we built six modules for biologists interested in using R for their data analysis.

Many biologists struggle to learn coding, and therefore we designed this introductory module to help you get started. Prior to the class, you will install R and tidyverse library based on the instructions provided by us. In the class, we will cover a number of different applications of R, and also guide you through the right set of learning modules to be productive quickly.



Class Style

The classes will be conducted through online interactive chat session.


You can read the testimonials for our summer R classes here.


Please sign up for the module at the following link. At present no payment is necessary to register.

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