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What is a Bioinformatician?

Scott Le Grand legrand at tesla.mbi.ucla.edu
Sun Feb 16 13:54:39 EST 1997


Recently, I read the interesting collection of articles on careers
in Bioinformatics on the NextWave web page (www.nextwave.org) which
appeared on 2/14/97.

I present here two contradictory quotes about what hiring managers
are looking for in potential bioinformaticians:

The views of Lou DeGennaro of the Molecular Genetics Division of 
Wyeth-Averst can best be summed up by this quote:

"We need people who can translate the language of molecular biology
into the language of computers."

In contrast, Keith Elliston, Head of Genomics and Informatics at 
Bayer states:

"My pet peeve is the biologist-hacker, the programmer-biologist, the 
jack of all trades and the master of none." 

These seem like contradictory views to me.  Bayer is apparently
hiring straight biologists or computer scientists and avoiding
the interdisciplinary types out there.  At the same time, Wyeth-
Averst is seeking the same interdisciplinary types that Bayer
shuns.

My question is which (if either) of these two views is predominant
in the industry today?

Scott Le Grand




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