Bioinformatics

What is Bioinformatics? 
Bioinformatics is the use of computers and statistics to make sense out of the huge mounds of data that are accumulating from high-throughput biological and chemical experiments, such as sequencing of whole genomes, DNA microarray chips, two-hybrid experiments, and tandem mass spectrometry.

There are three different approaches to bioinformatics:
Tool building. Creating new programs and methods for analyzing and organizing data. This is where our UCSC graduate program is focused.
Tool using. Using existing programs and data to answer biologically interesting questions. UCSC faculty members believe that this type of bioinformatics does not need a separate degree, but should be part of every new biologist's training.
Tool maintenance. Setting up databases, translating biologists' questions into ones that programs can answer, keeping the tools working and the databases up to date. The undergraduate bioinformatics program at UCSC prepares students for this role in industry, as well as for going into graduate school.

More information can be found at: What is Bioinformatics

COMMON CAREER PATHS:

You can work at the interface between biochemistry, computer science, and mathematics, creating new solutions for high-throughput chemistry, designing analysis systems for drug design, and many other things. Our graduates in bioinformatics have not had any difficulty finding jobs. Our Ph.D. students have been sought for faculty positions. One of our graduate students went on leave to form a company that was recently purchased by Affymetrix. We hope he'll finish up one day!

Assistant Laboratory Manager
Biochemist
Bioinformatician
Bioinformatics and Microarray Analyst
Bioinformatics Business Developer
Bioinformatics Developer
Bioinformatics Researcher
Bioinformatics Software Engineer
Bioinformatics Support Specialist
Biologist
Biostatician
Biostatistician
Biotech Engineer
Biotech Lab Technician
Biotech product marketing manager
Chemist
Clinical Engineering Executive
Clinical Research Specialist
Computational Biology Applications Engineer
Computational Chemist
Computational Scientist
Data Analyst
Data Manager

Data Miner
Database Manager
Director – Biostatistics and data management
Director of Data Management
Director of Operations – Biotech firm
Foresight Nanotech Institute
Immuno Assay Reagent Production Manager
Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Systems Specialist
Life Science Consultant
Planning Analyst
Product Development Manager
Product Manager
Product Representative
Project Manager
QA Engineer/Scientist
Research Associate
Research Scientist
Scientific Chemistry Application Developer
Scientific Programmer
Software and IT Support Engineer
Statistician
Structural Bioinformatics Project Leader

TYPES OF EMPLOYERS

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Technology giants like Motorola and IBM that are targeting the rapidly growing life-sciences field
  • Research universities
  • Biomolecular labs
  • Federal government departments:
    GenBank, a free database hosted inside the Department of Energy
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Genome companies such as: Human Genome Sciences and Celera
  • Bioinformatics companies that focus on providing the software
  • Start-ups, like Silicon Genetics in Redwood City
  • Software development companies like Oracle

JOB WEBSITES

International Society for Computational Biology 
Bio Planet 
BioSpaceJobs 
hireBio 
Color Base Pair 
Career Builder – Science & Biotech Jobs 
Hire Life Science 
Medzilla (Biotech, Medical, etc job listings)
New Scientist (job listings) 
Life Sciences World 
Boston Scientific

For more bioinformatics career information visit:

UCSC Bioinfortmatics FAQ web site
123 Genomics 
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (select “Career Opportunities”) 
Bioplanet 
Chemical & Engineering News (Article on Careers in Bioinformatics)