Genomics and proteomics data are being collected in bulk, but mostly, traditional biologist don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps this is the reason why (not only this!!! ) computational biologist/bioinformatics scientists are hot commodities in the research world.
In fact, there are huge demands for expert biological data analyst. It’s a fairly new (not exactly) hot area, these bioinformatician are invaluable because they know and understand the significance of biological data for your research and how you can use it for better understanding of biological problems.
The bioinformatics can discover biological patterns and stories in genomic and proteomics data. They can develop the pipeline needed to properly collect, store and analyse it.
Once your research group is ready to make a larger investment and hire a bioinformatician to gain a competitive edge, there are several key traits to seek out in potential candidates. The best bioinformatician are:
1. Highly Skilled - programming skills, experience with the biological software and tools.
The biological data won’t illuminate much if the scientist analysing it doesn’t possess practical programming skills, experience with the biological software and tools and a thorough understanding of basic biological stuff. A solid background in mathematics and statistics is also an indispensable trait.
2. Insight - Real vision, robust understanding and deep insight.
In order to hire the best bioinformatics and computational biologist scientist for your needs, it is always recommended and mostly practiced by the recruiters, to ask each contender to write and develop a sample script/presentation based on a specific set of data you provide. Then, explore the approaches used to deal with data provided and pick up those candidates who convey real vision, robust understanding and deep insight.
3. Energetic – Curiosity to explore
Mostly natural curiosity and enthusiasm for solving big biological problems coupled with an ability to transform data into a scientific stories may place one candidate above the rest. In addition to achieve that, the bioinformatician should be agile enough to quickly modify their methods to suit changes within a particular research.
4. Researcher – Publications
Look for someone who has a keen sense and understanding of concern biological problems. You can judge it by looking at previously published papers and data. It is always recommended to have a look at GitHub and other repository for codes written by her/him.
5. Impressive communicator - Insight that can’t be expressed is worthless.
Good bioinformatics scientists are able to uncover biological patterns and are willing to explain those patterns in clear and helpful ways through thoughtful and open communication. In other words, they should must have good scientific writing skills. A computational biologis/bioinformatician should know how to present the data and tell a scientific story through numbers/images.