Employment Opportunities In Bioinformatics

Manisha Mathur, Advanced Milk Testing Research Laboratory, Post Graduate Institute of Veterinary Education & Research, Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

2019-05-23 10:00:45

Credit: pexels.com

Credit: pexels.com

Modern Biology relies on computer science has provided new tools and approaches to medical, agriculture, anthropology, pharmaceutical and other sciences etc. leading to conceptualize biology as per Don Knuth " Biology is so digital, and incredibly complicated , but incredibly useful. Bioinformatics is an application of "information technology to the field of molecular biology." The term Bioinformatics was coined by Pauline Hogewg in 1978 for the study of information processes in biotic system.  Bioinformatics is an applied science that specializes in the analysis of large quantity of biological data, particularly in the area of genomics, proteomics and molecular biology by employing computational tools. Bioinformatics is a dynamic and fast growing interdisciplinary science present in the intersection of biology, mathematics, statics and computer sciences.

The field of Bioinformatics is one way to deal with this explosion of data. Bioinformatics is: "a mixture of the mundane and the sublime." The mundane includes data integration, data formatting and conversion (also known as parsing), and automation- "doing a relatively straightforward analysis a million times for few days and then dealing with the volume of results got and turning them into something useful. It's when the useful parts start to emerge that the sublime aspects surface. Some of the most exciting stuff is working with large bodies of sequence and gene-expression the detects of patterns that come out and how they reproduce biology.

Role of Bioinformatics in R&D Sector

‘Innovations in Bioinformatics’ generate new Business Insights to employ the Bioinformatics tools to manage high-throughput data from omics technologies, systems biology modeling and biomarker discovery. Knowledge management solutions required are reviewed to identify the latest developments in Bioinformatics, assess the tools and platforms that can improve drug developments and benchmark effective implementation of strategies. R&D laboratories are coordinating the analysis of increasing volumes of disparate biological data, largely comprised of gene and protein sequences. Bioinformatics has enabled data management for companies to improve their productivity within their R&D programs by identifying new drug target, diagnostic biomarkers and biomarkers of drug efficacy and toxicity. From a systems biology approach, Bioinformatics combine data into interactive models to highlight disease pathways and aid the discovery of on off-target effects of compounds. Knowledge management solutions are crucial in both instances, enabling project teams to make informed decisions about potential new drugs.  

Bioinformatics Assists Drug Designing

New developments in Bioinformatics and genetics, such as pharmacogenetics will enable researchers to identify quickly a patient’s genetic predisposition to contract certain diseases as well as their potential drug response.

Proteomics meant the isolation and identification of proteins from normal versus perturbed cells. Today, proteomics tools used to link protein expression with gene expression, structural proteomics, Protein-protein interactions and biochemical pathways studies. The main difference between the old and new paradigm is in high-throughput, parallel thinking that is now applied to huge potential of target proteins in the development of new novel drugs. The combination of proteomics, biomarkers and metabolomics has generated new opportunities for the designing of more effective diagnostic tools and therapy for the diseases.    

With the rising application of proteins in drug, designing is forcing the researchers to create strong new research tools and kits to rapidly screen, prepare, purify and concentrate the protein samples. The comprehensive review of opportunities in proteomics highlight a peak into encapsulated trends, search for tools to accelerate drug discovery ends with proteomics and initiative to boost proteomics research giving rise to strategic corporate activity for increasing value and rising global economy. Proteomics is an emerging science that is driving the industry from business driven economy to research driven economy.

Bioinformatics is vital for advances in the life science

The growing acceptance of bioinformatics as an important field requiring focused commercial support and activity has become a pre - requisite for firms depending on development &discovery of new drugs for patented drug solutions. The advent of bioinformatics was initiated in the industry by firms which had the foresight to establish the high core strength of this tool in gene sequencing etc where conventional methods would take year of documented research beyond the capacity purview of today's drug firms which need to identify market opportunities and respond to the same with certified clinical result with increased speed.

In recent years, innovations where IT and the life sciences converge have created vast quantities of data. The development of automated DNA sequencing and other innovative method have reduced the costs and time needed to discover the genetic makeup of various organisms. Additionally, innovations such as high - throughput screening and micro arrays are enabling studies of gene and protein functions (i.e., genomics and proteomics). The expending complexity and diversity of information also pose new challenges. For example, data produced from studies of protein and gene function and interaction require the consolidation of information in various formats and from diverse sources. Additionally, data may not be in a standard or readily usable format, particularly if they are not available in electronic form or are text- based information from scientific literature, patents and clinical trials. Critical biological information also is found throughout various scientific disciplines, such as the chemical sciences. The ability of researchers to manage and analyze these diverse and extensive data is critical to the future success of life sciences R&D.

Future Challenges

In future, one can see a combination of pharmaceutical and computing firms bringing together their research as well as IT capabilities. Recognizing bioinformatics as central to accelerating drug discovery, big pharma and biotech firms are expected to invest heavily in internal capabilities, or meet their needs through outsourcing. As the market matures, collaborative industry initiatives may drive even more bioinformatics demand. Innovation will depend on the integration of databases across functions and across companies.

Bioinformatics or computational biology is the use of information technology in the field of molecular biology, or the application of computer technology to the management and analysis of biological data. Here computer are used to gather, analyze and merge biological data. It is an emerging interdisciplinary research area and is increasingly being used to improve the quality of life. The ultimate goal of bioinformatics is to uncover the wealth of biological information hidden in the mass of sequence, structure, literature and other biological data and obtains a clearer insight into the fundamental biology of organisms and to use this information to enhance the standard of life for mankind.

Bioinformatics profound impact on human health, agriculture, the environment, energy and biotechnology to advance biomedical research and development. It is being used now in the areas of molecular medicine to help produce better and more customized medicines to prevent or cure diseases.

The career prospects in the field have been steadily increasing with more and more use of information technology in the field of molecular biology. Job prospects are in all sectors of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, in research institution, hospital and industry. Some of the specific career areas that fall within the scope of bioinformatics include sequence assembly, database design and maintenance, sequence analysis, proteomics pharmacogenomics, pharmacology, clinical pharmacologist, informatics developer, computational chemist, bio analytics and analytics etc. The bioinformatics jobs market has changed considerably in the past few years and can be attributed to a number of factors, mainly the increase in the number of bioinformatics academic programmes, leading to an increase in the number of graduates chasing jobs.