Bioinformatics is basically about the application of computer-based approaches in order to advance the scientific understanding of living systems. Practically, it helps to make sense of data that are generated by various high-throughput technologies at an exponentially growing rate and can lead to the generation of testable hypotheses directing biological research into new directions.
Bioinformatians can help basically in all areas of biological research to gain a much deeper understanding of various aspects of life. They can help to study how species evolved, how certain mutations cause cancer, what types of cells make up the human body, how the brain functions and ages, how we can find better drugs and biomarkers for treatment and diagnosis of various diseases, how to design better crops, and so on. In parallel, there is an increasing demand for bioinformaticians: experts who can solve problems arising from the management and analyses of biological data using various computational tools.
This specialization complements the core biological knowledge with basic programming, algorithmic and data analytic skills and demonstrates how computational skills can be used to address various biological problems.
Bioinformaticians enjoy a wide selection of career paths with an overall positive job outlook. They can pursue academic careers: enroll to PhD programs and become part of research groups at prestigious universities and academic research centers in Hungary and abroad. They can go on and establish independent research groups by developing novel computational tools or addressing original research questions, taking advantage of publicly available datasets. Bioinformaticians can also hold positions at core facilities that assist other academic or clinical researchers. There is also a growing demand for bioinformaticians in the industry. Job opportunities are typically, but not exclusively, at companies doing large-scale analysis of genomic and/or transcriptomic data, mostly with the aim of supporting developments and therapies in personalized medicine. With the advanced programming and data analytic skills, bioinformaticians can also find a wide range of job opportunities outside of biomedical research.