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Many Roads to Bioinformatics

What is a bioinformatician, and how do I become one? Many bioinformaticians start out in other fields, like biology, computer science or statistics, then transition to bioinformatics later in their careers.

In my search to help ease the transition for biologists moving into the era of big data biology, I have become involved in the Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry training organisations. These workshops have proven to be an amazing tool for helping biologists learn computational skills. I will share the lessons I have learned running these workshops, and start a discussion about how we can provide biology training for those with computational and analytic skills wishing to make the transition into bioinformatics.

Harriet Dashnow

Harriet Dashnow is a bioinformatician and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She has previously worked as a bioinformatician in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI), where she worked on the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance project.

Harriet obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), a Bachelor of Science (Genetics and Biochemistry) and a Master of Science (Bioinformatics) with Dean’s Honours from the University of Melbourne.

Harriet is committed to serving the bioinformatics community through organisations such as COMBINE and the International Society for Computational Biology Student Council. She has substantial experience in teaching bioinformatics and genetics at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She organises and teaches computational skills workshops in such areas as genomics, Software and Data Carpentry, Python, R, Unix and Git version control.

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