Bioinformatics Scientist Job Description
A bioinformatics scientist is a scientist who applies the techniques of computer science, mathematics, statistics and information technology to solve problems in biology. They are also known as biostatisticians, computational biologists, biometricians, bioinformaticists or bioinformatics specialists.
A bioinformatics scientist should be imaginative, creative, analytical, methodical and detail-oriented, and have good knowledge of computer technology. They should have self learning skills to learn and apply new knowledge and stay updated on new technologies. They should also have the ability to communicate effectively and work well with others in a team.
Pursue a career in bioinformatics science if you are good at biology, statistic, and computer science, and interested in applying computer technology to process biological data.
What does a Bioinformatics Scientist do?
Bioinformatics scientists may do some or all of the following:
- collaborate with biologists, microbiologists, geneticists, technicians etc.
- create and test bioinformatics tools and software
- develop software and custom scripts that automate data mining and manipulation
- troubleshoot applications and develop routines to improve methods of data mining and extraction
- analyze large molecular datasets such as proteomics data or genomic sequence data
- direct and supervise technicians and other staff operating bioinformatics tools
- recommend technological based solutions for bio problems
- write proposals, research articles and reports
Where does a Bioinformatics Scientist work?
Bioinformatics scientists usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends. They work in database laboratories and in offices.
What is Required to Become a Bioinformatics Scientist?
To become a bioinformatics scientist, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics science or a related discipline.
Secondary school students interested in studying bioinformatics science should take preparatory subjects such as English, biology, physics, computer science, chemistry, algebra, calculus, and statistics
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Computer programming
- Database programming
- Systems biology
- Computational biology
- Molecular biology
- Genomic sequencing and analysis
A bioinformatics scientist may specialize in any of the following fields:
- Health informatics
- Medical physics and clinical engineering
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Bioinformatics scientists need to have:
- scientific aptitude
- creativity and innovation
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- time-management and organizational skills
- leadership skills
- self-learning skills
- the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- knowledge of statistics and discrete mathematics
- knowledge of circuit boards, chips, processors, computer hardware and software
- knowledge of programming languages such as python, ruby or java
- knowledge of html and scripting languages
- knowledge of database programming
- knowledge of science policy
- knowledge of information theory
- knowledge of control theory
- knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems
- knowledge of lab safety procedures
Should I be a Bioinformatics Scientist?
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