Forum: PhD in bioinformatics or biostatistics as a wet-lab scientist?
2
gravatar for benjamin.hebisch
4.1 years ago by
benjamin.hebisch70 wrote:

Hey there!

Is it possible to do a PhD in bioinformatics or biostatistics as a trained wet-lab scientist with basic skills (loops, functions, libraries, classes...) in Python and R (probably deeper knowledge in general statistics than the majority of wet-lab scientists)?

I want to switch from wet-lab to dry-lab and want to learn coding during (!) the PhD, but I don't know if I have sufficient basics to get a position. Is it probably better to stick to computational biology (using a bunch of tools for biological purpose or running pipelines instead of programming) and learn programming in my spare time?

Although, I could join a bioinformatics master program, I want to finally earn (at least some) money and dont "waste" time for a second master program.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 13 months ago by chen1.7k • written 4.1 years ago by benjamin.hebisch70
11
gravatar for Medhat
4.1 years ago by
Medhat7.7k
Poland
Medhat7.7k wrote:

Hi,

If I understood correctly your question,Is it If you can change your interest ? the simple answer is: 

YES you can, but I suggest you to read those ;

Top N Reasons To Do A Ph.D. or Post-Doc in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

Top N Reasons NOT to do a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

Computing: Out of the hood

about learning programming is not the big problem at all "even it will not be a problem" knowing statistics is very good but it is not a must 

Also computational biology is not just using tools

 

 

 

 

ADD COMMENTlink modified 3 months ago • written 4.1 years ago by Medhat7.7k

Conversely, I'd suggest knowing statistics is a must

ADD REPLYlink written 4.1 years ago by russhh3.8k

But can you begin a bioinformatics Phd or project with basic statistics and go forward from this point?!!

ADD REPLYlink written 4.1 years ago by Medhat7.7k

not 'basic' statistics, no. But with a solid understanding of advanced statistics - yes.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.1 years ago by russhh3.8k

Well, of course I can change my interest. But I don't know if a group leader/PI would hire somebody with minor coding skills (but willing to dig deeper into coding). I have the fear that (at least during an interview) the group leader/PI comes up with questions like "Explain different types of algorithms in machine learning e.g.". I know what "machine learning" is, but besides loops, functions, libraries, dicts, classes... I have not much to explain.

I'm just fed up with wet-lab science. Analyzing data is fun for me (also learning coding for e.g. some MC simulations). I also like statistics (whereas my former boss was thinking that t-test = statistics...) at a time when I was teaching myself statistical modeling.

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.1 years ago • written 4.1 years ago by benjamin.hebisch70
1

Look of course not all the laboratories needs a software engineer to fill the position, they need some one who can ask biological  question   and try to answer it and who also have the ability to use some computational tools and some times need to develop them "with python it is not a big problem". But also remember that it will be harder for you If you applying for a position that asks for someone to develop algorithm or mathematical methods now it will be real challenge for you.  

 

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.1 years ago • written 4.1 years ago by Medhat7.7k

Thanks for the reference above. Very good reading.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.1 years ago by tiago2112871.0k
6
gravatar for John
4.1 years ago by
John12k
Germany
John12k wrote:

So just to clarify:
- Your fed up of wet-lab work after only 1 or 2 year of masters-level experience,
- You want to take on 3 or 4 year PhD project in an area you are interested in learning about, but your not entirely sure what it entails.
- To get it, you are willing to do wet-lab work, because...
- You want to earn money.

I don't know you man, but i'd say your a classic example of someone who would probably do a lot better in business than academia.
If you want to get a PhD that's great, but be warned, you will be paid only *just* enough money to live, you will probably have to leave all your friends and family behind because the only institute willing to take a risk on you is in some far-off remote country, and you will spend most weekends sat at the office 'catching up' on what you should have already known before starting the PhD (bioinformatics). When you finally graduate, you will look at your old, weathered face in the mirror; you will see the grey hairs, the poor posture, the coffee-stained teeth, and you will ask your self - why did I ever take the advice of some anonymous people on biostars.org all those years ago...

(myself included :P)

 

ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.1 years ago • written 4.1 years ago by John12k
2

man :D you knocked him out 

It was sniper bullet answer 

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.1 years ago • written 4.1 years ago by Medhat7.7k
1

Are you implying that a man with a poor stature and an old weatherd face with grey hair and brown teeth is bad. I consider every man a larvae until they reach that point. And maybe he will have fun along the way in a far-off adventurous dimension. What he needs is a spouse that brings home the bacon.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.1 years ago by axelwilhelm100

"Your fed up of wet-lab work after only 1 or 2 year of masters-level experience"

No, but after 1 year working at a Max Planck Institute in Germany during my master (including two first author publications).

"You want to take on 3 or 4 year + PhD project in an area you are interested in learning about, but your not entirely sure what it entails."

Well, you assume (!) that I'm not sure what it entails. I just want to know how easy it is to switch from wet-lab to dry-lab.

"To get it, you are willing to do wet-lab work, because you want to earn money"

No, you didn't got the point. I don't want to do a bioinformatic master since I hold already a master degree. Usually you are not paid as a master student but as a doctoral student. I want to do bioinformatics for the exact reasons posted by medhat.


 

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.1 years ago • written 4.1 years ago by benjamin.hebisch70
1
gravatar for maduh17
13 months ago by
maduh1710
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
maduh1710 wrote:

Yes, it's possible. I did it.

I moved from Malaysia to Austria from purely wetlab background to purely computational PhD.

I knew I should've quit wetlab years earlier since I really suck at it.

Before starting my PhD I learnt about Linux and awk on my own, but nothing too intensive, just trying here and there, plus I had 2 classes of C/C++ years before but never done any real work on it.

During my PhD my PI personally coached me.

If you really want to do it start learning it yesterday.

It was extremely painful but I got a Nature and Nature Biotech papers.

Both co-first author.

A lot of luck is involved, but yes, it requires EXTREME grit.

So, yes, it's possible.

Good luck.

ADD COMMENTlink written 13 months ago by maduh1710
0
gravatar for chen
13 months ago by
chen1.7k
OpenGene
chen1.7k wrote:

It is difficult, but is commonly seen these years that people are moving from wet-lab to dry-lab.

Pay efforts, and remember that your wet-lab skills will help you to understand the biological problems much better, and finally give insights to your codes.

ADD COMMENTlink written 13 months ago by chen1.7k

Sure I also moved from M.Phil microbiology to PhD bioinformatics. but remember it require great interest and struggle.

ADD REPLYlink written 13 months ago by azeem8398390

Yes, interest is the best teacher. Quit Ph.D immediately if there is no interest supporting your academic career.

ADD REPLYlink written 13 months ago by chen1.7k
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