The challenges of genomic research

Genomic discoveries allow us to investigate the basic mechanisms underpinning life. With this knowledge, personalised medicine, early discovery of emerging illnesses, monitoring of new viruses, more efficient and sustainable agriculture, and many more.

Genomic analysis is the basic technology supporting these endeavours and bioinformatic anal­ysis is a key step after sampling and sequencing, and before biological interpretation.

The crucial bioinformatic analysis step to extract genomic information from raw data requires high interdisciplinary skills combining biology, computer science, data science, mathematics and statistics. Bioinformaticians must possess a sophisticated and interdisciplinary knowledge before they can operate. Reaching this stage is a long process that creates a bottleneck in the whole process of genomic analysis.

Because of these highly interdisciplinary requirements, not only “the past decade has witnessed a continuing deficiency in this essential expertise”, but “lack of skilled personnel, common data formats, and lack of user-friendly tools at cheaper prices are projected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period from 2020 to 2027” [1].

[1] A global perspective on evolving bioinformatics and data science training needs, Teresa K. Attwood, Sarah Blackford, Michelle D. Brazas, Angela Davies and Maria Victoria Schneider;