Anyone considering a career in bioinformatics has to relish change, says Schering-Plough bioinformatics specialist Ping Qiu. "Bioinformatics is a very dynamic field," he says from his office in Kenilworth, NJ. "Every day there are new concepts, algorithms, databases – if you look at the publications, it's growing exponentially."
It's hard to imagine two fields morphing as quickly as either computer technology or genetics, and bioinformatics specialists like Qiu find themselves at the nexus of both.
"We analyze gene sequencing, find gene products and new protein family members like GPCRs, kinases – the kinds of things the pharmaceutical industry focuses on as they try and find new drug targets," Qiu explains. "It's that combo of biology and computers."
After completing both his BS and PhD biology degrees at Nanjing University, China, Qiu made the leap to high-tech, obtaining an MS in computer science in his postdoc years. He first worked at...