Why Biomedical Informatics at ISMMS?

At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, we’re uniquely positioned to study biomedical informatics. The immense growth of digital biomedical and clinical information has led to an increased need for people who can understand the languages, tools, and techniques of mathematics, science, and engineering. A classically trained scientist may be unfamiliar with the statistical and algorithmic knowledge required in this field. Therefore, a specialized training program is needed.

Biomedical informatics uses computer technology to manage biological and clinical information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information, which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development. The melding of molecular biology with computer science is essential for using genomic information to understand human diseases, as well as identifying new molecular targets for drug discovery. Biomedical informatics combines mathematics, science, and engineering to explore and understand biological data from high-throughput experiments, such as genome sequencing and gene expression chips.

Biomedical informatics jobs come with several different areas of focus, which typically have less of a hierarchy than bioscience discovery research jobs. An analyst/programmer job provides more focused computational analysis support. Analyst/programmers design and develop software, databases and interfaces used to analyze and manipulate genomic databases. They collaborate with production to develop high-throughput data processing, analysis capability, design and implement data queries, novel algorithms, and/or visualization techniques. Analyst/programmers also maintain large-scale DNA databases, prepare data for other scientists, monitor new data from public databases, and clean loaded data to satisfy quality control criteria. Scientist/engineers develop gene discovery algorithms for integrating sequence-based knowledge about genes to help scientists analyze and interpret gene-expression data. They also analyze DNA information and identify opportunities for innovative solutions to analyze and manage biological data. In addition, they often assist in developing software and custom scripts to automate data retrieval, manipulation, and analysis, as well as application of statistics and visualization tools. (Source: Vault Career Guide to Biotech; The Jobs in Lab Research)

Within the biomedical informatics field employers tend to look for the following skills/strengths: fundamental training/knowledge in molecular biology, biochemistry and biotechnology, including particularly, genomics; computing skills in relational databases and programming especially using SQL, Perl, Python, Java, R, C++ on a UNIX operating system; strong analytical abilities using relevant mathematical/statistical tools; a strong interest in utilizing computational skills to leverage the data outcomes of those working in the laboratory; a meticulous, independent, multitasking and patient approach to work.

Our program provides an academically rigorous and stimulating environment where students can connect to science, medicine, education, and health care delivery. We encourage our faculty and students to take risks in order to drive innovation. Our mission is to train the next generation of scientists and health professionals, as a community of scholars, to profoundly affect human health throughout the world in the 21st century.

In 2014, Fast Company named ISMMS one of the "World's Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Big Data."

Fast Company reported, "The New York City hospital is bringing on top Silicon Valley talent to build a facility that will map patients' genomes to predict diseases, reduce the number of average hospital visits, and streamline electronic medical records."