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Old 10-08-2015, 06:39 AM   #1
Junior Member
Location: TX

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2
Default Thrown Into A Bioinformatics Position

Hello everyone!

Recently I graduated with my master's in biology and since I have fallen in love with academic research I began looking for a research position at several universities.

Luckily I managed to find a research assistant position in a field that I am extremely interested in and hope to eventually pursue my Ph.D.

However, only a few days into my new job and my new position seems to be all Bioinformatics, which I have almost zero experience in and was under the impression that I would be conducting more lab work than I currently am (though I have been promised that I will be doing more lab work once I have proven I can take care of the MySQL database and Python pipeline).

When applying for the position, I was aware that there were MySQL and Python script requirements, and luckily I have previous knowledge / experience with both, though only hobby-related. I have so far been able to scrounge the internet for hours and find the information I have needed to get by and complete tasks and projects, but i'm not sure how long this will continue to work as eventually I might have to create something de novo that hasn't been done before.

I just wanted to post here and introduce myself since I will probably be posting a lot of questions that probably have very easy responses. Luckily a lot of the scripts and pipelines have already been designed, but I'm positive that new scripts and pipelines will have to be created.

Any useful tips or information on what exactly is required as a Bioinformatics research assistant when this isn't entirely his element? I am working on a Mac OX system, where I mostly generate heatmaps, metagene plots, sequence alignments, create dataplots, annotate peaks, and currently I am working on annotating exon intron junctions.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:59 AM   #2
Rick Westerman
Location: Purdue University, Indiana, USA

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,104

Originally Posted by Cguzman View Post
Any useful tips or information on what exactly is required as a Bioinformatics research assistant when this isn't entirely his element?
Lots of reading and learning. Good luck and try not to get overwhelmed.

Personally, coming from a computer background, I am rather poor at lab technique. When the DNA is missing from both the precipitate and the supernate I throw up my hands. A person with a good bio-lab background would be able to troubleshoot the problem. On the other hand computer problems do not faze me. All of that is to say that you may experience the reverse -- able to troubleshoot the lab problems but all bewildered at computer problems. Just keep plugging away and do not let the problems get you down.
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