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    Career Option - Bioinformatics
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    Introduction

    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 computers are used to gather, store, 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 obtain a clearer insight into the fundamental biology of organisms and to use this information to enhance the standard of life for mankind.

    It's importance is unlimited in the genomic era (genome is the complex molecular chains that constitute each organism’s unique genetic heritage). The hereditary information of an organism is encoded in the DNA. Genomics, the study of an organisms entire genome is developed to understand the basic molecule of life which is known as the code of life. DNA directly controls the biological makeup of humans or any living organism. Studying the structure of  DNA has made amazing success over many genetically transferring diseases. It is variations and errors in the genomic DNA which ultimately define the likelihood of developing diseases or resistance to the same disorders. 

    Bioinformatics could have profound impact in fields as varied as 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, it has environmental benefits in identifying waste cleanup bacteria and in agriculture it can be used for producing high yield low maintenance crops. These are just a few of the many benefits bioinformatics can offer.

    The career prospects in the field has 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 institutions, 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 (the study of protein, particularly their structures and functions), Pharmacogenomics, Pharma-cology, Clinical pharmacologist, Informatics developer, Computational chemist, Bio-analytics and Analytics etc. 

    Eligibility: A course in bioinformatics is suitable for those with a graduation or post-graduation in molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, chemistry, pharmacy, veterinary sciences, physics, mathematics, and also engineers, IT professionals, PhDs and medicos

    Jobprospetcs: The career prospects in Bioinformatics has been steadily increasing with more and more use of information technology in the field of molecular biology.

    Institutes: Entry into specific institutions depends upon the universities and colleges.

    Programs at different levels are available in the field such as B.Tech, Master Degree, Advanced Diploma and M.Tech. Study of Bioinformatics begins at the undergraduate level. The basic educational qualification to enter a program in Bioinformatics is 10+2 completed with science as the subject. The details of the educational qualification for different courses in this field are listed listed below. 

    Name of the Course

    Educational Qualification Required

    B.Tech in Bioinformatics

    Candidate should complete 10+2 with physics, chemistry, biology and English

    Master's Degree in Bioinformatics

    Candidate should complete their graduation in any of the following subjects  such as B.Sc / B.Sc (Agriculture)/ BCS / BE / B.Tech / MBBS /B Pharm / BAMS / BHMS / BVSc.

    Advanced Diploma in Bioinformatics

    Candidates having a post graduation in any of the following subjects such as M.Sc in Life Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biotechnology, Biophysics, Botany, Zoology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Computer Science or Equivalent), M.Sc (Agriculture) or M.Tech or MBBS are eligible for the Advanced Diploma Course.

    M.Tech in Bioinformatics (Engineering)

     

    Pharmacy graduate, medical, dental and veterinary science graduates as well as postgraduates in science are eligible for the admission to M.Tech

    Other than this eligibility for the courses in Bioinformatics in different colleges varies with the universities.  

     

    The career prospects in Bioinformatics has 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 institutions, 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 (study of protein, particularly their structures and functions), Pharmacogenomics, Pharma-cology, Clinical pharmacologist, Informatics developer; Computational chemist, Bio-analytics and Analytics etc.

    The work involved in the specific career areas are Drug design utilising 3-D structure modelling and computational chemistry (Cheminformatics), Comparing genetic data between and within species (Genomics), Genomic analysis in an attempt to find drug targets (Pharmacogenomics), Characterisation of proteins and their interactions (Proteomics), Prediction of the function of genes and proteins based on sequence and structural data etc.

    One can find work in Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies where bioinformatics technologies are applied throughout the drug discovery process. One can also take up teaching jobs in public institutions if you have a skill in teaching. Indian companies like Satyam, Wipro, TCS, Reliance etc and companies such as Silicon Genetics, Accelrys and IBM Life Sciences Pubgene, Tessella are recruiting bioinformatics candidates, because it has made a substantial new market for IT infrastructure.

     

     

    Remuneration: A postgraduate joining a private sector pharmaceutical company can expect to get a salary

     

     


      
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