Careers in Genomics

4 min read

Career Trends: August 11, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

there is plenty of growth in the engineering of sequencers and of sequencing protocols where newer and cheaper scientific technology is being sought after.

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Genomics stands for the study of whole genomes. While ‘genes’ are instructions encoded in molecules called DNA in a cell, ‘Genomics’ is the study of all genes of an organism and or altered genes in each set of conditions (diseased versus healthy). It also encompasses the functional relevance of this alteration. Genomics relies on Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology.

Advances in NGS technologies have led to the birth of an era of microbiome studies. The human microbiome, animal microbiome, and soil microbiome are promising cures to diseases like Diabetes, improving livestock health, and promoting sustainable agriculture by suggesting soil improvement/preservation measures.

As scientists and other professionals use discoveries in genetics to revolutionise the world, careers in genetics and genomics are booming, given the advances in the field of personalised medicine, DNA sequencing technologies and commercial applications of genetics research.

Genomics offers several career opportunities in areas such as clinical genomics, cancer genomics, genomics of rare diseases, genomics and wellness, microbiome-based therapeutics, bioinformatics, and computational biology.

Besides, there is plenty of growth in the engineering of sequencers and of sequencing protocols where newer and cheaper scientific technology is being sought after. It’s a rapidly expanding field with newer sequencers rapidly replacing old ones.

Here are some booming career prospects in genomics:

1. Scientist-cancer genomics

  • Cancer arises due to genome instability or mutations and early diagnosis is the key to its cure.
  • Genomics experts can diagnose and predict cancer prognosis.
  • A scientist working in cancer genomics can suggest immunotherapy for the patients.

2. Rare diseases scientist

  • Rare diseases such as sickle cell anaemia can be effectively managed if diagnosed early.
  • A rare disease genomics scientist can enable early diagnosis and improve the prognosis of such diseases.

3. Scientist-bioinformatics/bioinformatician/bioinformatician and computational biologist 

  • Bioinformaticians develop tools and ways to store, segregate and analyse data while computational biologists use these tools to render meaningful biological information.

4. Product manager

  • Given the range of sequencing applications and sequencers, each product must reach its intended end-user, which is what a product manager does.
  • Next-generation sequencing companies often hire product managers to reach their target customers.

5. Field application specialists

  • Buying and installing a sequencer is a huge investment.
  • Its preventive maintenance, training, and repair are extremely critical.
  • Field application specialists train the end users on sequencers, follow up on their queries and also maintain the machine.

6. Sequencer design experts/Engineers

  • Companies offer several sequencers such as Illumina (MISeq, HISeq), PacBio, Nanopore, and Ion Torrent sequencers from Thermo Fischer Scientific.
  • An engineer in alliance with a genomics expert can design a piece of equipment that performs better and is more cost-effective.

7. Pharmacogenomics

  • Pharmacogenomics is an important example of the field of precision medicine, which aims to tailor medical treatment to each person or to a group of people.
  • Pharmacogenomics looks at how your DNA affects the way you respond to drugs.

8. Agri-genomics

  • Application of genomics in agriculture helps evaluate soil microbiome and other parameters to improve agricultural output.

9. Human microbiome

  • Microbes inhabit our gut, skin, and other parts of the body in large numbers.
  • The diversity and number of beneficial microbes are essential to good health and wellness.
  • Experts in microbiome cater to this aspect of human health.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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