Cancer Data Science Course

Are you interested in the field of cancer data science? Whether you’re intending to transform your career with it, or you’re just looking for some perspective, we hope this beginner series can be your roadmap to better understanding this pivotal field. 

Watch, read, and review your way through each chapter to learn fundamental information and skills. 

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Chapter 2: Coding Basics for Cancer Data Science

Chapter Description

Do you need to know computer science to do data science? Aren’t data scientists just computer scientists? In this chapter, we’ll answer those questions and set you up with tips and resources to write code for cancer research projects.

Start the Course


Watch our ~6-minute-long video, “5 Tips for Learning to Code”

Test your knowledge!

What are two common programming languages used by data scientists?
Why is it important to write comments in your code for others to see how you did your work?
Why is it important for others to reproduce your code?

Other Related Materials:

  • Python Introductory Series, Lesson 1: Watch this course recording for information and guidance on Python (i.e., its command syntax, where you can find Python packages, and how it’s used to start a Jupyter Lab session on Biowulf). Note: Given this is a recording, you will have to access the resource tools specified within the video to follow along with the instructor. 
  • An Introduction to Python for Data Science (Part 1) (Part 2): Watch this beginner-oriented, two-part series on Python, presented by NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.    
  • Introduction to R: Watch this course recording for an introduction to R and RStudio. Note: Given this is a recording, you will have to access the resource tools specified within the video (i.e., DNAnexus and RStudio) to follow along with the instructor).

Keep Going!

Continue to Chapter 3 to discover key statistics concepts that will enhance your cancer research.


Daoud Meerzaman, Ph.D.
NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT)
Dr. Meerzaman is the branch chief for the Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics Branch at NCI CBIIT. He leads a team of bioinformaticists, computational biologists, and developers to analyze cancer research data for NCI.

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