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#ECRWednesday Webinar: Addressing the career challenges of Bioinformaticians

Join us for a webinar where panelists will speak about the unique challenges of pursuing a career in Bioinformatics.
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Bioinformaticians do not fit neatly into the traditional career paths. Conventionally, scientists undertake a PhD, then a postdoc in the laboratory of renowned experts. This enables trainees to acquire a specialised set of skills from their supervisor, develop independent research projects, and obtain the first author publications required to make progress in a career. However, this is not always true for Bioinformaticians, who can face unique challenges. These can range from acting as the lonely 'pet bioinformatician' in wet labs, where their supervisor lacks the expertise to give them the mentorship they require, to struggling to obtain sufficient credit for the work they perform. In this webinar we will outline some of the challenges faced by bioinformaticians and discuss ways to overcome them.

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Images: Laurent Gatto, C. Titus Brown, Aedin Culhane, Mick Watson.


Laurent Gatto
Webinar chair, Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge , eLife Early-Career Advisory Group

Laurent is head of the Computational Proteomics Unit at the University of Cambridge. He is also a visiting scientist in the PRIDE team at the European Bioinformatics Institute, affiliate teaching staff at the Cambridge Computational Biology Institute, a Software Sustainability Institute fellow and a Software and Data Carpentry instructor. (Text adapted from

C. Titus Brown
Associate Professor, UC Davis Genome Center

Titus’ lab tackles questions surrounding biological data analysis, data integration, and data sharing. Their primary interest is in genomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic sequence analysis. He has spoken previously about the role of Bioinformaticians, and provided a satirical take in his 2014 BOSC keynote, 'A history of bioinformatics'. (Text adapted from

Aedin Culhane
Research Scientist, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Aedin’s lab develops and applies multivariate statistical methods and machine learning to the analysis of high-throughput whole genome data arising from molecular and genomic studies of cancer, with a particular focus on meta analysis and development of models that integrate of multiple sources of data. (Text adapted from

Professor Mick Watson
Director of ARK-Genomics and research group leader, Roslin Institute

Mick is a bioinformatician and genome scientist, with almost 20 years’ experience in industry and academia. His group's research focuses on the use of computational and mathematical techniques to understand genome function with an emphasis on systems of relevance to animal health and food security. Mick also runs a popular blog Opinionomics where he discusses a range of issues, and coined the phrase ‘pet-bioinformatician’. (Text adapted from

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