What is a Bioinformatics Operations Supervisor?

A bioinformatics operations supervisor is a scientist who manages subordinate scientists and research programs. Bioinformatics operations supervisor will most likely have a master’s or doctoral degree in bioinformatics or computational biology. The field of bioinformatics is exclusively small and highly technical, so bioinformatics operations supervisor will most have worked in any of the following four bioinformatics jobs. Bioinformatics operations supervisor may also perform one of the jobs below in addition to their managerial responsibilities, according to Bioinformatics.org.

Bioinformatics Scientist

Bioinformatics scientists may develop, enhance and automate analysis of DNA sequencing data in lab environments. They may work with medical lab operators to evaluate and document DNA analytics that must maintain precise data accuracy and specificity. Their work may involve collaboration with clinical analytics team who annotate DNA variances and generate content for clinical reports. Bioinformatics scientists must maintain high quality data generation while complying with security and confidentiality requirements. They usually have work experience with sequencing data and new development methods. They should have knowledge of at least one or two programming languages, such as C, C++ or Java, and scripting languages, such as Java, Perl or Python. Most bioinformatics scientist supervisors will have a masters or doctoral degree in bioinformatics with three to five years of work experience.

Computational Biologist

Computational biologists are responsible for the analysis, integration and communication of multiple data sources. They may leverage systems biology and network medicine techniques with integrated internal data to identify statistical correlations between disease development and treatment pathways. They design and program algorithms to use with complex and disparate data sets of health information. Computational biologists need to maintain a working knowledge of standard algorithms, data structures and scientific tools. They need a solid understanding of complex data visualization techniques in order to efficiently communicate results with biologists, biochemists, researchers and management. They must be fluent in data mining, statistical analytics and programming languages like Python. Familiarity with information design, such as statistical graphics, exploratory data analysis and interactive data visualization, as well as computational modeling and biochemistry basics, is preferred.

Bioinformatics Data Analyst

These bioinformatics scientists may work in genomics research on multi-disciplinary research teams. They may be in charge of developing and implementing software tools and workflows for analyzing genomic and DNA data. They may develop and implement programming scripts to process and analyze things like genome data sets, genome sequencing and RNA sequencing. They may carry out parallel data analyses through advanced software programs that integrate, organize and analyze program output. Bioinformatics data analysts may manage server- or cloud-based research datasets to ensure their appropriate backup, integrity and completeness. They may also prepare reports that include aggregate charts and tables of genomic studies. Bioinformatics data analysts will usually have a master’s degree in computer science, statistical genetics or bioinformatics programming. They must know how to use Unix and Linux command lines to run analysis software and develop workflows with command line steps. Knowledge of source versioning systems and sequence data structures is expected.

Related Resource: IT Jobs in Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics operations supervisors may also manage bioinformatics developers or software engineers who create customized software solutions that offer data analysis functionality. Bioinformatics operations supervisors will need to understand statistics, mathematics, programming and biology related sciences.