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If you are looking for a bright and challenging career in the future, the only better option, apart from IT before you is Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics, the new professional course is expected to overtake the Information Technology and create ripples in the coming years. Bioinformatics as a concept gained prominence during the development of prestigious Human Genome Project. The project paved the way for the conglomeration of two separate fields - biotechnology and Information Technology and led to the concept of Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is expected to alter the healthcare, agriculture, commercial and industrial products. It is predicted that by the middle of 21st century, all companies will be interrelated to Bioinformatics in some way or the other. At present the international market value of the bioinformatics is estimated at $5 billion and is expected to grow to $20billion by 2005.

How to learn and where to learn Bioinformatics in the city? At present there are two major organisations, gvk bioScience Private Limited, and Ocimum Biosolutions Limited which are offering high quality training in Bioinformatics. The gvk bioSciences Private Limited, is the wholly owned subsidiary of the GVK Industries, established specially to focus on training, services, research and development in the field of Bioinformatics. Ocimum Biosolutions Ltd., is part of the Saraca Group, an integrated R&D bioinformatic solutions provider with operations both in the USA and India.

The gvk bio is offering three months programme which costs around one lakh rupees. The programme consists of three modules which include Protein Structure and Modeling, Drug Discovery and Design, Genome, DNA and Protein Sequence Analysis. On the ohter hand Ocimum Biosolutions, the new entrant into the field is offering two certificate programmes, 12 week programme and 16 week programme. The 12-week programme in DNA & Protein Sequence Analysis deals in review of genomics, bio computing and some computer operating systems like Unix. The 16-week programme deals in intensive genomics like cloning besides covering the entire 12-week programme module. At Ocimum, the 12-week programme costs around 55-60 thousand and 16-week programme costs around 70-75 thousand.

There are many employment opportunities for bioinformatists in India as well as abroad. "Bioinformatics is going to play a vital role in developing new drug formulae using genome. So, there will be plenty of opportunities in the Pharmaceutical industry. Pharma giants like Ranbaxy, Torrent, Sun Pharma, Zydus Cadila are interested to conduct campus interviews and recruit students from our first batch, which is expected to come out in July," said Ms. Archana Swamy, Business Development Associate of gvk bio. The company is also focussing in outsourcing business from industry gaints in USA and Europe. Mr.Sajjan George of Ocimum Biosolutions says that "we have already developed three bioinformatic tools - Gencheck, Genowiz and Pathtracker. These tools are very useful in the analysis and interpretation of genome data. Our students will be trained in these latest packages too". The company has its inhouse R&D centre and is going to recruit required personnel from its student pool itself. Both the companies are assuring assistance to the students in getting a better placement in national and international organisations. They will inform, guide and advise students about the global opportunities available in commercial and research establishments.

The eligibility to join the course is graduation. For the students who come from science background like BSc, MSc, PhD in science and engineering background with computer programming knowledge are eligible to learn Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is a highly interdisciplinary subject that needs expertise in different disciplines like biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics. Even though the graduation is the eligibility, some MBBS doctors also joined in our institute," said Ms. Archana Swamy, of gvk bio. "As bioinformatics is a research based subject, a bioinformatician should have deep subject knowledge, keen analytical and interpretation skills. That is the reason why we select students through a screening test and personal interview," said Mr.Sajjan George of Ocimum. The screening test is generally aimed to scale the verbal, nonverbal analytical skills, simple mathematical formulae, current affairs and subject knowledge.

Both the institutes have got expert faculty members who have immense experience in the field. In addition, gvk bio has state-or-the-art infrastructure with 30 SGI work stations, high speed networking, ultra-modern lecture halls and a library. Ocimum is planning to arrange live lectures, discussions with bioinformatic professionals in US through video and web conferencing besides providing LCD Flat Panel monitors & high-end servers.

Bioinformatics can be applied to various fields. The most prominent of them are, Sequence analysis and Molecular Evolution, Genome mapping and comparison, Gene Identification, Structure Prediction, Database query tools, Molecular Modeling and Simulatiuon, Drug design and Drug target Identification. Besides handling data, Bioinformatics tools are more helpful in medicine, agriculture and environmental sciences. The science of Bioinformatics has immense application in detecting many human diseases and discovering the drugs for treating the same. Foreseeing the trend of Bioinformatics, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, unveiled the Biotechnology Policy-2001, on May 7, 2001. The policy incorporates setting up of a 300-acre Biotech Park with world class infrastructure, Rs. 50-crore Biotechnology Development Fund, and a 'Genome Valley' spreading over 600 squre kilometres (land proposed for establishing biotech companies).

For furhter details contact:

gvk bioSciences Private Limited, #210, My Home Tycoon, 6-3-1192, Kundan Bagh, Begumpet, Hyderabad - 500 016 Phone: +91-40-651 9990, Fax: 339 6885 E-mail:


Ocimum Biosolutions Ltd, #404, Reliance Classic, Road No.1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034 Phone: +91-40-662 7200 Fax: +91-40-662 7205 E-mail:

-Mohan G Jagan
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