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专业背景:计算机科学 研究方向与兴趣: JavaEE-Web软件开发, 生物信息学, 数据挖掘与机器学习, 智能信息系统 目前工作: 基因组, 转录组, NGS高通量数据分析, 生物数据挖掘, 植物系统发育和比较进化基因组学

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How to become a bioinformatics expert  

2010-01-01 11:05:28|  分类: 生物信息学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Why become a bioinformatics expert?

Recent years have seen an explosive growth in biological data. Large sequencing projects are producing increasing quantities of nucleotide sequences. The contents of nucleotide databases are doubling in size approximately every 14 months. The latest release of GenBank (V.102) exceeded one billion base pairs. Not only the size of sequence data is rapidly increasing, but also the number of characterized genes from many organisms and protein structures doubles about every two years. To cope with this great quantity of data, a new scientific discipline has emerged: bioinformatics, biocomputing or computational biology.

But how to become a bioinformatics expert?

Bioinformatics combines the tools and techniques of mathematics, computer science and biology in order to understand the biological significance of a variety of data. So if you like to get into this new scientific field you should be fond of these 'classic' disciplines. Because the field is so new, almost everyone in it did something else before. Some biologist went into bioinformatics by picking up programming but others entered via the reverse route.

Now you don't have to go through university twice. More and more interdisciplinary programs emerge, for example at the Computer Science and Biotechnology Department at Bielefeld University, Germany. The introductory courses in its bioinformatics program are similar to those of 'classical' computer science: algorithms and data structures, theoretical computer science, computer architecture, and programming practicals. You will also have mathematics courses on linear algebra, analysis, differential equations, applied maths, and statistics. Introductory biology courses are included as well. Later on the amount of biology courses increases, and the student will get also 'hands-on' experience in laboratory work. Here the student gets some sort of idea about the biologist's everyday work and sometimes realizes what computing tools are available and what tools are missing. The ideas for many of them were born during laboratory work!

Biocomputing Programs in Europe:
Bioinformatics Bielefeld University Germany
Bioinformatics University of Tuebingen Germany
Molecular Modelling and Bioinformatics Birkbeck College United Kingdom
Center for Biological Sequence Analysis The Technical University of Denmark Denmark
MSc Bioinformatics Dublin City University Ireland
MSc Bioinformatics Cranfield University at Silsoe United Kingdom
CAOS/CAMM Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics Netherlands
MSc Bioinformatics for Health Sciences Universitat de Barcelona/Universitat Pompeu Fabra Spain
MSc in Quantitative Genetics & Genome Analysis University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
ComBi University of Helsinki Finland
MRes in Bioinformatics University of Leeds United Kingdom
Bioinformatics

(Computational Molecular Biology)

University of Manchester United Kingdom
Master of Philosophy in Molecular Biology

with Bioinformatics

University of Nottingham United Kingdom
MSc Bioinformatics University of Oxford United Kingdom
MSc Bioinformatics University of Skövde Sweden
MRes in Bioinformatics University of York United Kingdom
Some institutions are offering training courses in this area.

Here you can study a 'classical subject' and still specialize in bioinformatics.

Bioinformatics related Professional Development Courses

University of Oxford Bioscience Programme United Kingdom
Bioinformatics Courses and Seminars University of Uppsala Sweden
Theoretical DNA and

Protein Analysis

Stockholm Graduate School in Biophysics Sweden
Bioinformatics

(Computational

Molecular Biology)

University of Bergen Norway
Theoretical Biology / Bioinformatics Group Utrecht University Netherlands
Bioinformatics The University of Dublin

Trinity College

Ireland
Bioinformatics course Laboratory for Molecular Biology - Genzentrum, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich Germany
Sequence analysis /

biocomputing courses

UK human genome mapping centre United Kingdom
Informatics in Biology Pasteur Institute France

What about the future?

In USA, anyone you ask about job prospects in the world of bioinformatics for young scientists will give the same answer: This field is hot! It is far from being overpopulated (at least in 1997 :-), and the number of jobs is growing further. Some of the biggest drug firms - like SmithKline Beecham, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Glaxo Wellcome - are hunting for bioinformatics experts while smaller firms have difficulties to get the staffers they want. In Europe, especially in Germany, the situation is less enthusiastic but we're hopefully catching up. While traditional scientific job markets are shrinking, here might be the opportunity many young scientists are looking for.

Bioplanet offers a list of current job postings and more interesting articles and links about bioinformatics.

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