Online Master’s Degrees in Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is a specialty in the healthcare industry that focuses on solving complex biological problems. In Towards Data Science, a PhD student of the discipline describes bioinformatics as a field that develops and applies various computational methods to analyze biological data such as protein samples, cell populations, and genetic sequences. The purpose of this work is to discover new types of biology and make predictions that can improve human health. The methods of computation used by bioinformatic scientists include mathematical modeling, analytical methods, and simulation.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary specialty that combines several different, but complementary, fields to solve complex biological problems. Some of these fields include biology, physics, biomedical engineering, chemistry, genetics, genomics, neurology, biostatistics, mathematics, and computer science. Bioinformatic scientists break down the human body into small groups of cells involved in various types of complex processes. They study human DNA to understand the symptoms and causes of current diseases and predict future conditions. Bioinformatic scientists use cutting-edge technologies to do this. One of the most common techniques is called next-generation sequencing, a high-throughput sequencing (HTS) method.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regularly shares data on the occupational outlook of medical scientists, which includes bioinformatic scientists, among many other types of medical scientists. Opportunities for medical scientists jobs are expected to grow 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, more than double the average growth projected among all U.S. occupations during that time. The BLS lists a median annual salary for medical scientists of $80,530 and an average of $96,070.

People who choose this career path have strong scientific skills and a desire to help others through their research. Most have already worked in healthcare for several years. Since the profession typically requires at least a master’s degree, many schools now offer the opportunity to earn credentials online. This option is ideal for those looking to advance their career or change their career course altogether.


Professors to Know in Online Master’s Programs in Bioinformatics

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    Albert-Laszlo Barabasi - PhD, Northeastern University

    Dr. Barabasi is a distinguished professor and the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science at Northeastern University. He is also the director of the Center for Complex Network Research. Dr. Barabasi is well-known in the bioinformatics field as he consults with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a member of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He earned his doctorate degree in physics from Boston University and his master’s degree in theoretical physics from Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary. He created and operated the Barabasi Laboratory to study how networks are formed, what they look like, and how they change. He discovered that specific natural networks follow a blueprint similar to those created by humans. This discovery created scale-free networks and dynamic network modeling, which have positively impacted research across every area where these networks exist.

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    Mgavi Elombe Brathwaite - New York University

    Mgavi Elombe Brathwaite is the bioinformatics program manager and an academic adviser at the Tandon School of Engineering at NYU. He has more than 20 years of experience in bioinformatics, computational biology, and sequence analysis. Before coming on staff at NYU, he held positions across the public and private sectors at IBM's Center for Computational Biology, Columbia University's Genome Center, and the National Institute on Aging, among others. As a reputable leader in next-generation sequence analysis, computational biology, and systems biology, professor Brathwaite has been instrumental in developing the bioinformatics program at NYU and has published several articles and studies on the bioinformatics. Professor Brathwaite obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Lincoln University, and his master's in plant genomics at Tuskegee University.

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    Sherry Ogg, PhD - Johns Hopkins University

    Dr. Sherry Ogg is a senior lecturer at the Center for Biotechnology Education at Johns Hopkins University. She teaches courses on advanced cell biology, agricultural biotechnology, molecular biology, introduction to bioinformatics, and biofuels for Johns Hopkins' online advanced academic program in biotechnology. She obtained her doctorate in animal science from the University of Maryland, her master’s degree in agricultural and animal science from California State University, and her bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Delaware Valley College. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of animal sciences at the University of Maryland.