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Computer scientist

Simon is a computer scientist and is interested in deciphering the chimpanzee genome. To do this, he writes programs that are able to identify genes in DNA. His ambition is to understand why an animal so close to humans, from a genetic point of view, is in fact so different.

 

Biologist

Mary is a biologist with a very keen interest in computer science. She uses her computer skills to help out her colleagues who work in a laboratory. For this, she develops “custom-designed” software, with which very complex experimental data can be rapidly analysed, compared and stored.

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Chemist

Peter works in the field of drug design. He has managed to model the virtual structure of a molecule which should be able to interact with a virus and thus prevent viral infection.

What you need to be a bioinformatician

Ingredients:

  • a generous helping of biology
  • a spoonful of skill in computer programming
  • a pinch of mathematics
  • a dash of statistics
  • a hint of experience in the lab (optional)

Seasoning: depending on the specific tastes of each candidate and the opportunities encountered.
There are, in fact, as many ‘profiles’ to a bioinformatician as there are specialties in bioinformatics. In most cases, during their academic cursus, bioinformaticians acquire knowledge in more than one field, such as molecular biology, physics, mathematics, statistics or programming for instance. Today, bioinformatics is no longer a mere complement to biology but a field of study per se, and is taught as such both at the level of a Masters degree or a PhD.

Then what?

Bioinformatics touches all aspects of the life sciences. It takes part in every level of research, and its applications are used by scientists daily. Bioinformatics is still a recent scientific field with surprising and diversified professional opportunities. A degree in bioinformatics paves the way both to an academic career or a career in the private business sector, such as pharmaceutical companies but also fields such as patent law and investment banking. Bioinformatics is a recently evolved scientific field with surprising and diversified professional opportunities.

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