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What is a Bioinformatician?

EH Scholl scholl at ipass.net
Sun Mar 23 23:31:59 EST 1997

I can give a small point of view on hiring within the pharmaceutical
industry when it comes to multi-disciplinary stuff.  I am in a field
called Biomathematics, which is indeed different than Biostatistics.
(Most Bioinformatics people are either combination bio/CS or bio/Stats
it seems these days.)
In order for one of the recent Ph.D's in my field to get a job with a
large, fairly well-known pharmaceutical company she had to "sell"
herself as a biostatistician.  While the people she talked to thought
the idea of Biomathematics was very interesting, there was just noone at
any of these companies who were doing the sort of work we do, and
because of that creating a job like that was, buerocratically speaking,
impossible.  So instead my friend got hired by this company as a
biostatistician and hopes to some day sorta back her way into the
biomathematics work.

As someone who is going to be in the same situation soon (I hope!) I can
tell everyone that while it sounds like this whole bioinformatics thing
is a braching out into multidisciplinry sciences, in point of fact it is
still yet another narrow category for hiring.

hoping to change the world... one person at a time.

David Jones wrote:
> Peter Karp (pkarp at ai.sri.com) wrote:
> : I find your comments hard to understand given that SmithKline has in
> : fact hired a number of very good multidisciplinary bioinformaticians.
> I'm sure many of those appointments weren't as a result of an application
> sent in through normal channels - or even responses to advertisements.
> Many of these appointments will have resulted from "little chats" at
> conferences, or "invitations to visit and give a seminar". Headhunting
> is becoming quite common in the bioinformatics field.

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