Example Career: Bioinformatics Technicians
Apply principles and methods of bioinformatics to assist scientists in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, computational biology, proteomics, computer information science, biology and medical informatics. Apply bioinformatics tools to visualize, analyze, manipulate or interpret molecular data. May build and maintain databases for processing and analyzing genomic or other biological information.
What Job Titles Bioinformatics Technicians Might Have
- Bioinformatics Analyst
What Bioinformatics Technicians Do
- Analyze or manipulate bioinformatics data using software packages, statistical applications, or data mining techniques.
- Extend existing software programs, web-based interactive tools, or database queries as sequence management and analysis needs evolve.
- Maintain awareness of new and emerging computational methods and technologies.
- Conduct quality analyses of data inputs and resulting analyses or predictions.
- Enter or retrieve information from structural databases, protein sequence motif databases, mutation databases, genomic databases or gene expression databases.
- Develop or maintain applications that process biologically based data into searchable databases for purposes of analysis, calculation, or presentation.
- Confer with researchers, clinicians, or information technology staff to determine data needs and programming requirements and to provide assistance with database-related research activities.
- Participate in the preparation of reports or scientific publications.
- Write computer programs or scripts to be used in querying databases.
- Document all database changes, modifications, or problems.
- Create data management or error-checking procedures and user manuals.
- Develop or apply data mining and machine learning algorithms.
- Related occupations Design or implement web-based tools for querying large-scale biological databases.
- Monitor database performance and perform any necessary maintenance, upgrades, or repairs.
- Confer with database users about project timelines and changes.
- Perform routine system administrative functions, such as troubleshooting, back-ups, or upgrades.
- Package bioinformatics data for submission to public repositories.
- Train bioinformatics staff or researchers in the use of databases.
- Test new or updated software or tools and provide feedback to developers.
What Bioinformatics Technicians Should Be Good At
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
What Bioinformatics Technicians Need to Learn
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.