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As Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science, mathematics, statistics and molecular biology and genetics, it has become an integral part of medical research. Bioinformatics involves the use of computational methods to tackle data intensive, large-scale biological problems. The process usually comprises four steps, which are:
– Collect statistics from biological data.
– Build a computational model.
– Solve a computational modeling problem.
– Test and evaluate a computational algorithm.

Career Prospects

Bioinformatics is most useful in medical and biological labs where large amounts of data need to be analyzed. With the increased focus on research in areas such as biomedical diseases and medical genomes, bioinformatics is essential to propagate research in these fields.

Graduates specializing in Bioinformatics can go on to become professors, science technicians, bioinformatics scientists and analysts, research associates and assistants, and bioinformatics software developers. Their expertise is highly sought after in a variety of industries. The different types of opportunities available for these graduates include computational biologists, database programmers, gene analysts, scientific curators, network administrators, phylogenitists, molecular modelers, bio statisticians, cheminformaticians and pharmacogeniticians.

Here is a list of fields that utilize Bioinformatics:

  • Molecular medicine
  • Preventive medicine
  • Personalized medicine
  • Gene therapy
  • Microbe genome applications
  • Forensic analysis
  • Crop involvement
  • Drug development
  • Waste cleanup
  • Veterinary science
  • Bio-weapon creation
  • Insect resistance
  • Biotechnology
  • Climate change studies
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Nutritional enhancement
  • Evolutionary studies
  • Development of drought-resistance varities
  • Alternative energy sources

Program Entry Requirements

In order to be eligible for this program, students will need to have an undergraduate degree with a major in either bio-medicine, biology, computer science, or mathematics and statistics. Some universities require the student to have gone through specific courses for a minimum number of hours. Some of these subjects include genetics, molecular biology, evolution, informatics and computers. For students whose primary language is not English, IELTS or TOEFL scores are required. GRE scores are also required by most US universities.

Top Schools for an MS in Bioinformatics

University
New York University
University of California Los Angeles
Harvard University
University of Illinois at Chicago
George Mason University
Boston University
Columbia University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Northeastern University
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Southern California
Purdue University
Indiana University
University of Texas at Dallas
North Carolina State University
San Diego State University
La Trobe University
University of Melbourne
The University of Auckland
Ecole Polytechnique
University of Bologna
Technical University of Munich
Freie Universitat Berlin
University of Glasgow
University of Birmingham
Lund University
Uppsala University

 

References:

  • NCBI – National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine
  • Bioinformatics Institute, Russia
  • Indiana University
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Oxford University

 

 

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