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- Careers in Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics Career Paths
Bioinformatics has many broad areas for career movement. Some of these areas
This will involve the acquisition and analyzing of data from collaborators,
public databases, and genome projects, and scientific publications.
Biomedical Computer Scientist
The role would involve the design and development of programs and/or databases
to be used in biological field. Strong programming skills usually a requirement
for this role.
These usually fall into three categories – Research Geneticist, Laboratory
Geneticist and Genetic Counselors. The first two usually bioinformatics degrees
at Graduate level and all require a strong understating of genetics.
Computational Biologist develop computational tools and methods to solve complex
theoretical and mathematical problems as they relate to interpreting genomic
information. Knowledge of correlation in statistical and mathematical analyses
with genetic and biological information. A bioinformatics biologist would have
to collaborate with other researchers and departments and some of his or her
duties would include development of tools that would support research
objectives, the compilation and analysis of data, including writing and editing
reports for journal publication as needed.
A biostatistician responsibilities include reviewing potential bioinformatics
publications for statistical accuracy, and writing reports for in-house team
members and collaborators, as well as information gathering on various studies.
At a higher level they would ensure the consistent application of statistical
analysis across different studies. Experience with a wide range of statistical
methods, such as ANOVA,
logistic regression analysis, survival analysis, linkage analysis, and
multivariate analysis would be necessary. Proficiency in
SPlus or SAS (computer based
statistical analysis tools)might be necessary in some positions.
Biomedical Chemists analyze pharmaceutical materials for quality, purity and
strength. They use approved methodology and observe safety practices. They
produce sample batches of a drug for trouble-shooting and help design the
scaling-up process that takes drug manufacture up to factory proportions.
Advanced positions require extensive record keeping and the supervision and
integration of a lab team.
Clinical Data Manager
The Clinical Data Manager uses complex computer systems within bioinformatics
environments would need to possess analytical skill to detect and resolve data
problems in clinical research studies. A good understanding of the data
generated in a clinical research study, methodologies for data storage,
reviewing data, database design and testing, and the ability to extract
information are all skills that a CDM must have.
The Microbiologist will support efforts to characterize pathogenic
bacteria. The Microbiologist will determine bacterial/spore resistance to
standard and novel antimicrobials and decontaminants various conditions. A
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with experience in general microbiology is
The bioinformatics programmer is responsible for performing analyses on data
from genomic and other biological databases, clinical trials and other sources,
including listings, tabulations, graphical summaries and formal statistical
estimates and tests. Ability to assess quality of analysis data, perform cross
study analyses and be able to create and use/write SAS
macros to automate all of the above functions. Additionally, the person in this
role will design and create analysis databases. A thorough knowledge of study
design and protocol requirements is fundamental.
Medical Writer/Technical Writer
The duties of the medical writer comprise assisting departments in the
preparation and writing of documents required for regulatory submissions,
writing study protocol and other documents needed for clinical studies, and
clinical study reports in accordance with regulatory guidelines. Other
tasks include Drafting and coordinating the preparation of manuscripts for
publication. A Master’s or PhD Degree is usually required for this position.
Research Associates and Research Scientists
An advanced degree required is needed. Research Associates participate in and
contribute to a scientific objective. He or She must be conversant with
laboratory equipment and software use as well as safety and protocols. Research
Associates also monitor and collect clinical trial data; coordinate designed
trials; and prepare written reports, protocols, and study tracking documents.
They are responsible for overall site management, including conducting
initiation, interim, and close-out visits. A high level of interaction is
required with physicians, pharmaceutical companies. Reviewing study
documentation and ensuring compliance with clinical objectives and procedures
is also a requirement for this role.
Last Updated: 10 August 2006.