Question: How does a physics phd approach bioinformatics with a focus on machine learning?
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Hi everyone,

I'm currently working as a postdoc (physics) and my main expertise are data analysis, numerical simulation, statistical modeling etc. I mainly use python but I'm also familiar with R. I got interested in the application of machine learning in Bioinformatics, more specifically single cell omics and rna-seq data. I would like to change my research field to single cell analysis. Currently I'm applying for post-doc positions in singe cell data analysis. It will be helpful if you kindly share your thoughts on the career transitions: Do you think if it is ok, doable and practical? If yes, would you mind pointing towards a short project on single-cell analysis based on public data. I'm trying to build a portfolio to show that I'm genuinely interested in this field. Thanks for your time and help!

ADD COMMENTlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago brc • 10 • updated 10 months ago Ali Jam • 10
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Do you think if it is ok, doable and practical?

Yes, it is, but be sure to get a good background on biology.

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
h.mon
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Thanks for your message. Would you mind sharing some books or other resources for this purpose? I've started with the book "Molecular and Cell Biology For Dummies".

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
brc
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Welcome, I'd say go for it. Your physics skills in analysis and modeling are very germane, and of course there is a long history of physicists transitioning successfully into biology and bioinformatics. If you don't have previous cell or molecular biology experience - invest the time to learn. Re datasets, the good news is that there is a lot of available data, the challenge is that quality of data and metadata vary. But having said that, you could take a look at other Biostar threads like this one, grab some data, and dive in.

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
Ahill
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Thanks a lot for your encouraging words! Thanks also the link. I would like to place the same request again: Would you mind sharing some books or other resources for molecular and cell biology for beginners?

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
brc
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The best thing to do would be to find the core textbooks for an undergraduate course. For me, it was Cell and Biology.

This is, of course, a massive undertaking, so it may be best to find the particular area you are interested in (e.g. RNAseq) and dive as deep in to the background literature as possible.

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
jrj.healey
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The link is not working. I was wondering if you are talking about this book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Molecular-Biology-Cell-Bruce-Alberts/dp/0815344643/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=cell+and+biology&qid=1551949669&s=gateway&sr=8-1

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
brc
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Ah sorry about that, not quite sure what happened there.

Yep, that's the one I (and others often) referred to as "Cell" (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21054/)

The "Biology" I referred to is Campbell and Reece's: http://www.mypearsonstore.com/bookstore/campbell-biology-0134093410

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
jrj.healey
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Thanks again for the references.

ADD REPLYlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago
brc
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Machine learning is a wide area which can be applied in different manners. With a background in physics (what branch of physics?) you need to be familiar with biology. Then you can outline a fantastic mutual research project consisting of biology and physics. for instance, protein-protein interaction PREDICTION. you can perform different prediction research in biology through machine learning.

ADD COMMENTlinkeditmoderate 10 months ago Ali Jam • 10

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