Just one word... bioinformatics

What do we tell this year's crop of graduates as they plot their futures? How about telling them about the future prospects of bioinformatics.

In a recent story, BioWorld contributor Ilene Schneider takes the pulse of where the jobs are in life sciences today and in the future. Two hot fields, according to her sources, are bioinformatics and systems biology.

Janet Thorton, director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute, told Schneider: "Bioinformatics extracts knowledge from the data that underlie systems biology, for creating hypotheses and models. Almost every experiment now involves multiple sources of data, requiring the ability to handle those data and to draw out inferences and knowledge. Bioinformatics has evolved rapidly over the past 15 years and is now quite ubiquitous."

Information technology is playing a central role in boosting pharma R&D productivity, which has been notoriously slow, expensive and inefficient. For example, bioinformatics software enables scientists to analyze the tsunami of genomic data being made available from next-generation DNA sequencers. There many more opportunities for bioinformatics tools to support biological studies, with the potential to speed discoveries that lead to the development of game-changing new drugs. It's no surprise to see that Drexel University and others are beefing up their informatics offerings.

Got that class of 2011?

- check out the BioWorld article

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