Program in bioinformation

wheger wheger at world.std.com
Wed Oct 1 13:09:48 EST 1997


I am interested in changing careers and getting into this new field of
bioinformation.  Basically, it involves using computers and mathematics
to model biological events.  My primary interest is to be able to tackle
the protein folding problem, (how naive).  
	The first question I have is: is this is going to be the boom industry
of the next decade?  How much progress have we made?  I have been
reading about this field as a passing interest.  I read George Rose's
article in Science, Dec 95, as well as other literature.  I know that U.
Wash in Seattle and Tel Aviv are offering courses in this field.
Is McGill??
	Second, is it too late for a 35 y.o. software engineer to try to
establish a background in this?  Not that I can't if I didn't want to,
but I ask if it will be lucrative enough worth the transition from a
relatively comfortable career as a programmer in visualization to make
it worth my time, money and efforts.  What is the going rate for a
software consultant with an M. Sc. in Computer Science and minor in
Biology working in this field?  Is there going to be enough cash going
around?  Several years ago (~4), I read an article in the editorial
section of "The Boston Globe" from the director of the biotechnology
program at Harvard who remarked that a secretary working at Harvard made
more money in her first year than a post-doc from Harvard.  I also met
with a graduate student who was in the department who made the same
comment, as well as some other accquintances.  The problems seems to be
one of specialization.  Apparently, employers do not pay anything but a
token amount for a biologist who is not a specialist in the field that
they are currently pursuing.  Now, some of this thought might be just a
circumstance of the economical downturn of '92, but what about the long
term outlook??  I am sure the economy will go through many dips and
highs, so I guess my question is multifaceted.  Lets take the optimistic
approach and ask what is the current predicament today.  
	Are there any good references which attempt to do any economical
forecasting [an oxymoron]?

Cheers,
Walter Heger
B. Sc. '84, M. Sc. '87
http://world.std.com/~wheger
 
Please remove the _ from my email address when replying.  Unsolicited
spams will be dealt with as request for proof-reading and charged my
normal consulting rate.



More information about the Molmodel mailing list