What training do you think a computer scientist should do to move into the bioinformatics field?
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5.5 years ago
Lucy • 0

Hello,

What training do you think a computer scientist should do to move into the bioinformatics field?

I am a post-doc in Computer Science (Data analysis & Machine learning) and my project is related to clinical data and expression data analysis. I'm trying to identify some training courses which I could do to improve my skills. My aim is to be able to interpret my analysis in biology context. I've been looking at some courses in bioinformatics and they seem to be targeted for biologists rather than computer science. Do you have any suggestion for me? Note that, I'm based in UK, so would appreciate if the training you recommend is provided here.

Appreciate your thoughts!

Lucy

Bioinformatics computerscience • 2.2k views
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Start by reading Campbell Biology and Alberts Molecular Biology of the Cell (in this order).

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I've got Campbell book here on my desk :D

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5.5 years ago
DG 7.2k

Focus on the biology. Given your CS skills you can do some online bioinformatics courses that are higher level just to learn the algorithms (if you don't know them already), major parameters and how they work, etc. But the biggest thing to do is learn the biology. If possible sit in on some undergraduate lectures, grad level seminar series, etc. Go to departmental seminars. If you don't understand the biology you will consistently do uninformed analyses.

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Focus on the biology.

especially on molecular genetics and cellular biology; you should also know about the standard methods used in molecular biology and their shortcomings.

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Absolutely! I don't do wet work, but I try and know details of most of the wet work whose data I do analysis on. I need to know the biology of the experimental systems to make good choices in my analysis, and where sources of variability and noise might come from.

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I agree. Whenever I do analysis I need to know how my data is generate and where it comes from. I'm going to sit in some introduction courses this autumn.

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5.5 years ago
Dataman ▴ 340

Nowadays, there are many good quality online courses (MOOCs) available for free and also you can get a certificate if you pay a fee. These can help you start or give you ideas where to go next. For instance:

On Coursera:
Bioinformatics Specialization
Genomic data science specialization
Systems Biology and Biotechnology Specialization

On EdX:
Data Analysis for Life Sciences 1: Statistics and R
Data Analysis for Life Sciences 2: Introduction to Linear Models and Matrix Algebra
Data Analysis for Life Sciences 3: Statistical Inference and Modeling for High-throughput Experiments
Case Studies in Functional Genomics

I will keep updating this list. Hope this is helpful.

[Update-1]:
Here is a list of articles dubbed "guide to genomics" by their collectors worthy of reading.

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Thanks for the list. Seems like a good way to start.

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5.5 years ago
ivivek_ngs ★ 5.1k

Apart from wonderful answers I would ad up some recurrent threads of the forum

  1. Bioinformatics And Computer Science

  2. How Did You Learn Good Practice In Bioinformatics/Computational Biology?

  3. Getting into Bioinformatics

  4. Also the quora link might be useful

Good luck!

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