Getting back to Biology

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Getting back to Biology

Post by Kaveh » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:54 am

Hello all,
I have a question and am looking for your feed backs.

I got my B.Sc in Biology (Microbiology) in mid 90s. Unfortunately due to circumstances I took a career in Information Technology. Biology has always been my passion and the desire to go back has been getting stronger every day. I am now 40 years old and am really considering going back to school but being away for such a long time is intimidating.
What would you suggest? How would you approach it? Is it the right thing to do? (I guess if you are passionate about something so strongly it doesn't matter if it is right or wrong!)

Thanks in advance.


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Post by Julie5 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:32 am

Absolutely no idea about cross-over careers, but one would think that there has to be an opportunity somwehre in the region of using computing-power to do a lot of the data crunching in areas like genomics/proteomics, etc, plus, of course, there must similarly be a cross-over in modelling/simulation in respect of eco-changes etc.

You could, maybe, compromise like so many have to do, in that you make your living out of IT, but keep your intellectual passion for a different subject.

Although I don't have to make a living out of biology, I am 'rediscovering' it (after having studied it longer ago than the 90s!) and finding it fascinating (and so much more has been discovered since my day!!!!). There's quite a big chunk of me that wishes I'd stuck with it since graduating, instead of drifting away into other areas.

All the best, and hope you find that (all too rare!) sweet-spot where you can earn a decent living doing something you love (in a place you want to live!)


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Post by Darby » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:10 pm

Check out bioinformatics.

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Re: Getting back to Biology

Post by jonmoulton » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:11 pm

I second Darby on the bioinformatics. Combine it with two biology/chemistry topic areas: molecular genetics and structural biochemistry, both computation-intensive areas that are growing. Look into molecular simulation software (protein docking, quantum molecular structural programs, etc.). Check out NCBI ( and poke around, especially in GenBank and BLAST. There is a demand for skilled IT people in biology, but going in with stronger and updated biology/chemistry will greatly advantage you. You can probably do both (computer applications in bio) + (mol bio & struct chem) within the umbrella of a single bioinformatics program, especially one that bills itself as interdisciplinary.

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Post by vladkara » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:13 pm

I have somewhat similar interests. I do have a BS in biology and biochemistry. I have been working in medical research for 10 years. Got frustrated with people I worked for for (M.D.s that pretended to do a big research), received associate degree in system analysis and programming and am now working in IT (clinical work). I have taken an advanced class in cellular biology about two years ago. It really put me back to the current issues in biology. That is what I would advice.
I am very much interested in extending human life. Excellent books: Ending Aging by Aubrey deGrey. Also book: Long for this world by Jonathan Weiner.
Currently I am working on a web page where I would like to express some ideas.
If interested, contact me: [email protected]

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