Question: How To Become A NGS bioinformatics expert from Protein Bioinformatician? - Skills
gravatar for Pallab Bhowmick
3.6 years ago by
Pallab Bhowmick20 wrote:

Hi all,

I am a bioinformatician and in the final part of my Ph.D. So far much of my focus has been on structural biology and protein sequence analysis and my expertise, bioinformatics science, includes a background in biochemistry, computational and statistics but now when I am looking for research oriented job (Postdoc/ entry level researcher) in industry, have found that most of those jobs are related to NGS data analysis or developing pipeline for NGS. I got the feeling that I should learn about NGS discipline. One way I can learn about NGS if I get some Postdoc or research position in some place or lab. In that way in future I can connect my research skills between these two fields. My questions are :

1. Is it good idea to move into NGS from protein background ?

2. Do I need additional skills to deal with NGS problem?

3. Most importnat thing can protein bioinformatician can get position in NGS?

Thanks a lot in advance.


ADD COMMENTlink written 3.6 years ago by Pallab Bhowmick20

You mention you are looking for positions in industry.  Is working in industry your ultimate career goal after obtaining a PhD, or is it to become an independent researcher at a university one day?  

ADD REPLYlink written 3.6 years ago by alolex890

Hi, till now I have more than 4 years research experience in academia but nothing about industry. My current goal is to work on application research rather than basic research which I am doing now. In this way I can get the taste of industry and also get the idea about current stage of application research. At this moment my feelings, I can get that from industry related research. So in future I can decide which one is more suitable for my future research career!!! But if I get some position in lab where they have strong interests towards application research then I happy to work with them!!!

ADD REPLYlink written 3.6 years ago by Pallab Bhowmick20

I have worked in academic research thus far, so I'm not very knowledgable about what industry type jobs are out there in your area.  I think NGS is very popular and it would not hurt for you to be at least familiar with the technology and data obtained from it.  In order to develop applications for NGS I would say you would need to have done basic research in the field already and be very familiar with the biology behind the technology as there are many new skills you would need to learn to process NGS data.  The best way to get NGS experience, in my opinion, is to get hands-on experience in a research lab with someone to mentor you--like you mentioned above.  It is a large field and can be overwhelming at times when you are first starting out.  I just started NGS research a year ago (migrating from gene expression microarray and structural biology research), and while much more comfortable with it I still learn something new every day, and there are still terms and concepts I have to look up and research.  Switching completely to NGS from structural biology is ok, but whether or not it is a good idea is really up to you and should be decided based on your overall career goals, so I don't think anyone here can answer that for you.  If you are curious about the NGS field you may want to try and get involved in a project or two at your university, or try to get a post doc position that is willing to train you.  Above all you need to be passionate about what you do and not do it just because.  I think any employer would prefer to have someone who is passionate about their work and excited to learn new things rather than someone who is only there because they need the money.  If you have not found that passion yet, then branching out away from protein research may be good for you, but that is up to you.  I hope my 2 cents has been helpful and I wish you the best in your career!  

ADD REPLYlink written 3.6 years ago by alolex890

Thanks alolex for your kind advice. Thats my plan to join in some lab as postdoc so I can get chance to learn on NGS field and in this way I can get grip on this field. Although when I am looking for this position in good lab or good institute , they prefer someone already worked on this NGS rather than an inexperience person. But I hope I will find some place where I can learn on this HOT topic.

ADD REPLYlink written 3.6 years ago by Pallab Bhowmick20

If you want to start learning the terminology and orient yourself to the field you could start looking at the Tuxedo Suite pipelines (BowTie, TopHat, etc).  This is where I started as they provide clean workflows and diagrams that helped me learn the terminology and workflows surrounding the basics of quality control, alignment and differential expression analyses.  Then I was able to branch out and develop my own pipeline using various other tools as well as feeling comfortable with learning variant calling tools like GATK.    

ADD REPLYlink written 3.6 years ago by alolex890

Thanks ....Its really helpful advice!!

ADD REPLYlink written 3.6 years ago by Pallab Bhowmick20
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