Analyze genetic information for universities and research labs.
What does a Bioinformatics Technician do?
Bioinformatics Technicians read genetic codes that are written inside the human body. Like Archaeologists interpreting the cryptic messages on the walls of hidden prehistoric temples, Bioinformatics Technicians make a record of all the letters so they can build an alphabet and eventually decipher words, sentences, and paragraphs.
As a Bioinformatics Technician, you’re part Computer Programmer and part Biologist, paid by universities, pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology firms to assist Bioinformatics Scientists with the ambitious task of collecting, storing, organizing, and analyzing genetic information. This information may one day be used to help prevent, treat, and cure illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and even asthma.
Typically, that means you help Bioinformatics Scientists with the technical side of their job. Because bioinformatics is basically about electronically storing genetic information for researchers, you help create databases for organizing information, as well as algorithms or models for processing it. Since Scientists collect so much data, you’re essentially there to create software and applications that make it easier for them to find and interpret the facts they’re looking for.
Like that Archaeologist mentioned earlier, you collect and catalog artifacts – information about DNA sequences and proteins, mostly – that will later be studied to the benefit of all mankind. Instead of plastic baggies, brushes, and tweezers, however, you use computers!