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kris74 03-22-2012 01:53 PM

need career advice (looking for appropriate project)
I'm looking for some advice on a future career path. (If this post is not in an appropriate place, please forgive my ignorance.)

In short, I would like to get back to bioinformatics and am looking for an appropriate project (~ year long) that would eventually help in a job search. I need your advice on how to proceed and would be very grateful for any suggestions you might have.

About me (I must be somewhat particular since my circumstances might be setting me apart from the usual PhD-track crowd):
I'm 37. (ugh.)
I have a PhD in mathematics (ugh.)
I fell in love with computational biology in my last year of PhD, which was 2003; then I spent some 2-3 years learning everything I could about biology and algorithms and software and databases
Then a personal crisis happened and subsequently resolved itself with 3 little kids (if you have kids, you know how time-consuming that can be).
I'm located in the greater NYC area (and have a green card).

Although I do have a part-time (teaching) job at the moment, at my age, you begin to realize that time is finite and that if you don't work with something you love, you will regret it later. Therefore, I would like to get back to computational biology, somehow. Another PhD seems redundant and time-consuming, and I'm not looking to become a PI one day - I would like to do software development or algorithm development or just analyze data.

So my questions are:

1. Which project do you think would be appropriate in my position?

2. Do you know of any such project?
(e.g. what about (anybody know something about them)? open software development ? (I thought about BioJava?))

3. Where else to look for information and advice given my situation?

4. Are biotech companies ready to take unpaid interns (especially as old as me?)? (Do you know of any?)

(I'm good with Biopython and Matlab, proficient in C++; I have no practical experience in a lab; the whole NGS passed me by and I'm getting up to speed now; I'm pretty ok with the CS side of things in general)

Many thanks for all your input and I hope it could be useful for other people on the forum as well!

Joann 03-23-2012 05:06 AM

More questions
Hello: Welcome to SEQanswers!

It's not clear what type of daily time commitment plus commute time you have available. What type of current job (project) descriptions interest you? Academic, industry, or public sector? Medical or applied biotechnology? Can you attend a few meetings, short courses, or research seminars of interest? Have you formulated any basic research questions that would encompass an interdisciplinary approach?

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