Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology which is used for the management and analysis of biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and join together biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development. The science of Bioinformatics is essential to the use of genomic information in understanding human diseases and in the identification of new molecular targets for drug discovery. Hence, bioinformatics is the combination of biology, computer science, and information technology. It is an emerging interdisciplinary research area and its ultimate goal is to uncover the wealth of biological information hidden in the mass of sequence, structure, literature and other biological data and obtains a clearer insight into the fundamental biology of organisms and to use this information to enhance the standard of life for mankind.

The application of computing technology to bioscience and vice versa is known as bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is the study of genes, medications, and DNA using statistics, programming, and tools. Bioinformaticians are people who research bioinformatics. They use computer technologies to extract information from biological records. They work in the field of computational genomics, sequencing of human genome, drug therapeutics and translational research.

Nature of Work

Bioinformaticians need to perform two critical roles: develop IT tools embodying novel algorithms and analytical techniques, and apply existing tools to achieve new insights into molecular biology. However, you must remember that although powerful and highly specialized in itself, bioinformatics is only a part of biotechnology.

  • Combine the tools and techniques of mathematics, computer science and biology in order to understand the biological significance of a variety of data.
  • Design and manipulate complex databases for research purposes
  • Develop web-based analytical tools, algorithms, data bases and software to fulfil the need of any project or research
  • Use their computer skills for the management and analysis of biological data
  • Help researchers of related fields by providing them authentic data
  • Research on human genome for discovering the medicines for genetic diseases

Scope of bioinformatics

Clinical practises, personalised medicine, agriculture, and forensic science all have a high demand for bioinformaticians. Bioinformatics has many uses in the bioenergy, veterinary research, and biotechnology manufacturing sectors. Bioinformatics graduates are sought by a variety of pharmaceutical firms, healthcare organisations, environmental biotech companies, and educational institutions.

How to become a bioinformatician

Education   Admission Requirements

BS                                            4 years                        Fsc pre-medical or equivalent in intermediate

MS/Mphil                                2 years
PHD                                         3-5 years

Best universities

  • Government college University
  • Comsats university
  • Quaid-e-azam university
  • University of agriculture
  • International Islamic university

For more details on institutes offering bioinformatics

Job opportunities of Bioinformatics

Job prospects are in all sectors of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, in research institutions, hospital and industry. One can find work in Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies where bioinformatics technologies are applied throughout the drug discovery process. Companies such as Silicon Genetics, Accelrys and IBM Life Sciences Pubgene, Tessella are recruiting bioinformatics candidates, because it has made a substantial new market for IT infrastructure

There are many career prospects in the field of bioinformatics:

  • Bioinformatics Software Developer
  • Researcher
  • Structural Analyst
  • Scientific Curator
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Scientific writers
  • Biostatisticians
  • Protein analyst
  • Database programmers
  • Gene analyst
  • Chem informaticians
  • Biotech experts
  • Computational biologists

Qualities and skills required

  • Scientific aptitude
  • Fairly deep background in some aspect of molecular biology. It can be biochemistry, molecular biology and molecular biophysics
  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Observation
  • Persistence
  • Integrity
  • Cooperation
  • Team spirit