What is Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?
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What is Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?


I originally found out about it when I
was in high school and I was always interested in the math and the science
part of things and I liked playing on computers and being on them so it was
pretty much the perfect combination of all three. One thing that I sort of
underestimated was the need for bioinformaticists um anytime that it’s
mentioned in classes or whatever there’s they just always say you know you’re
gonna have a job after after you’re done here. Go on to graduate school and
hopefully get a PhD and then continue research.
I like the genomics and genetics, proteomics, dealing with protein
interactions in their structures and functions. The introduction to BC Bio
course that I took which was 211 and it was co-taught by Dr. Chou and Dr. Gu and
and there we learned a lot about sequence alignment and dynamic
programming. We got to know a little bit about Perl which is a program used in
computational sciences. The thing with bioinformatics and computational biology
is that it’s a lot of introductory courses in different areas instead of a
large amount in one area. Other important ones would be computer science 227 and
228: intro to data structures and the java programming language. It’s analytical
genetics so it has more of a bioinformatics approach and
different databases to search and how you would go about analyzing the genome.
Medical genetics it’s taught by Jack Gurtin and we’ve basically just been
going over basic information regarding genetics and how it affects the genome
and the different diseases that are out there and I was able to do a mentoring
project in the spring semester and so I got to know the lab setting a little bit
and sort of get my hands wet as far as lab experience goes. And then I am now
actually employed at that same lab. I do things with cell culture, stricking
plates, um, preparing media to put on the plates,
feeding them and just I help out with whatever procedures that they’re doing
for the day. Reverse transcriptase, um, RNA purification, gel extraction. Dr. Chou,
um, as I mentioned, he I went I worked in his lab as a freshman just as taking a
one credit course and then that next year he co-taught one of my classes and
after having had me in class and seeing me participate in his lab he really he
thought I was a really good candidate for a job there so he gave me a job at
the beginning of this year and I’ve worked there since. So he sort of taught
me new tools to use in the bioinformatics field and giving me
advice on graduate schools and applying for internships and he’s been able to
write letters of recommendation for me. Karen Dorman is her name
and uh I go to her at least once a semester sometimes more. She helps me
make sure that I’m taking all the right classes that I need to take so I’ll
graduate on time and um she’s usually pretty good about emailing me back and
helping me with whatever else it is that I need,
studying abroad information or applying to internships, graduate schools, which
one might be right for me that type of thing she gives pretty good advice. If
someone’s interested in bioinformatics and computational biology they should
definitely take as many high-level courses in math and science as possible
and even computer programming. I didn’t have any experience with that until I
came to college. You’re in a computer science class with a bunch of computer
scientists but that’s not really your field so you have to take what you can
and sort of realize that you’re not doing the same things that they are but
it’s still applicable to your program. If they can get any experience as far as
overlooking someone, a research scientist, in any field to see if they like the wet
lab portion with test tubes and beakers or if they like the dry lab more.

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