What IT Jobs are in Bioinformatics?

There are many new IT jobs in bioinformatics, because this field now needs professionals with computer science, software development and computer programming backgrounds. All of these IT experts help to design, maintain and troubleshoot complex programs and databases that contain genetic data and biological information. Students with an IT background should be sure to take classes in bioinformatics, computer biology and computer engineering.

Bioinformatics Analysts and Researchers

Bioinformatics analysts work under the direction of scientists to analyze complex data sets. They need to have a strong background in both statistics and biology. They apply their understanding of physics, math and experimental protocols to perform advanced explorations of bioinformatics data. They must use their software skills and Linux-based command line applications to answer key questions from scientific experiments. Related to this, bioinformatics researchers usually have a background in math, biology, statistics or computer science.

However, some bioinformatics researchers are actually IT professionals who work with scientists to provide technical support and guidance. They are usually assigned to work on long-term projects in academic or government labs. For example, they might work to develop new statistical tools to understand the interactions between stems cells and target body organs. They usually have a Ph.D. in bioinformatics or computational biology and are proficient in at least one commonly-used programming language. They develop innovative statistical methods to quantify and interpret data.

Bioinformatics Developers

Bioinformatics Python developers create web applications and large databases by using their programming skills and understanding of genetic and biological research requirements. They must be experienced Python developers who have high quality programming skills and solid knowledge of common Python frameworks such as Flask, Django, Mongo DB and Rabbit MQ. Bioinformatics Python developers must have experience working with data models and application program interfaces (APIs).

A bioinformatics Java developer will be expected to be comfortable working on various OS platforms, such as Unix, Linux and Windows. They will use their commercial IT experience of developing Java scripts and Java libraries to develop new applications. They must be comfortable working with and handling big data through popular software solutions that are built with C++ and Python. They may be asked to develop software and infrastructure to deliver cloud-based data global communities of scientists, clinicians, researchers and medical professionals. They will develop big data management tools, reports and frameworks.

Bioinformatics Operations Supervisor

Bioinformatics operations supervisors are responsible to ensure the smooth operation of facilities and processes. They regularly disseminate insightful reporting to internal stakeholders, such as management, and external stakeholders, such as clients. For example, they will use their IT skills to digitally monitor and track project and employee performances against operational objectives and budgets. They must have knowledge of CSS, Java, Python, HTML and JavaScript to understand and develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for data analysis, processing and reporting.

Bioinformatics operations supervisors must stay up-to-date with advances in their respective fields, such as genome informatics, by monitoring research, attending conferences and participating in discussion groups. They use their IT and leadership experience to oversee teams of bioinformaticians, software developers and computational biology technicians. They also need experience with project planning, managing budgets, implementing of protocols, updating policies and tracking performance against operational objectives.

Related Resource: How to Become a Data Scientist

Other IT Jobs in bioinformatics include computational biochemist, programmer analyst and bioinformatics predictive analyst.