Forum:Hot research areas in Bioinformatics for career development
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6.9 years ago
Pappu ★ 2.1k

From a senior postdoc point of view, it seems hard to raise funding or get tenure track position working on old research topics in which his/her mentor made career long ago. As such, I am wondering in which research areas should a postdoc focus from career development point of view. The following areas seems to be hot now a days:

Algorithm/web server development and data analysis for -

  1. Epigenomics (BS-Seq, CHIP-Seq etc)
  2. Metagenomics
  3. Genome Editing
  4. Non-coding RNAs
  5. Applications of Machine Learning (i.e. Deep Learning) in these areas
  6. Genomic Big Data Management
research-areas • 4.0k views
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Personally, I think the metagenomics is potential in many fields and I recommend the metagenomic sequencing in the study of microbial function in human health.

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The metagenomics area in interesting indeed. And there's also the holy grail of protein structure prediction, a field that hasn't progressed much since the 1990s, with the development of SWISS-MODEL and related programs (although I'd say that the problem's being confronted since the 1970s, when Chou and Fasman formulated their famous amino acid helix/beta sheet propensity tables).

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I would include high throughput in-vivo imaging to the list.

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6.9 years ago

This would depend on your career goals. If you aspire to lead your own lab, the most important is to find a good biological question/scientific problem to work on, i.e. a project with a clear direction that you can take with you to start your own group. If your goal is to latter sell your computational skills (within or outside academia) then you need to invest in learning skills that will be in demand where you want to go. But even so, at least in research, I think asking the right scientific question beats having a buzzword label e.g. indiscriminate application of machine learning to any and all biological question is not going to take you very far. If you can't figure out a new research direction, you're probably not ready yet to lead a lab.
If you're considering doing a postdoc, be aware of what you're getting into. I would advise to only do a postdoc in academia if you want to stay in academia despite the low pay and the long odds of getting some sort of stable position. See the report from the US National Academies on the subject and some articles on the topic here and here.

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6.9 years ago
vassialk ▴ 200

It depends on fortune, your relatives, your supervisors, your scores, publications, money and time investments. Genomics never will be natural, horrific and accurate as postmortem pathology. If you need topics, I can advise whole genome sequencing of microbes related to cancer and mononuclear microarrays of extreme conditions.

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6.9 years ago
Vivek ★ 2.6k

eQTL analysis, Allele Specific expression and in general anything linking variant calling with expression changes to show a causality. Following the recent trend of papers and having interviewed for a couple of jobs, those seem to be the popular, unsolved problems right now.

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