M.Sc. Bioinformatics

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Sebastian Roskosch, PhD student

Please describe shortly your current profession. How does your typical day at work
look like?

I am currently working at the Berlin Institute of Health as a PhD student in the junior research
group for genome informatics. My focus lies on the development of methods for the detection
of large DNA-deletions in NGS data. Therefore, most of my day at work I spend programming
and testing the my new approaches. In regular meetings with my PI, new ideas are discussed
and regular journal clubs guarantee that I also get enough input from other research fields.
From time to time, I also write on my own paper.

What was your motivation to study Bioinformatics?

I always liked computer science and wanted to work with computers, but realised that pure
informatics might be a bit too dry. Later I discovered my interest in genetics. So studying
Bioinformatics was the optimal choice for me.

When and how did you choose your current profession? Did you realize your plans
from the time of your studies?

While writing my master’s thesis I asked the professor who was supervising my thesis if he
knew of any positions for doing my PhD. Luckily, he new of two different positions for which I
applied. One of those position was my current job.

What in your opinion is the most important thing for your work that you learned during
your studies? What do you still profit from?

Right now, I am mostly programming in C++, so those skills are very valuable for me. But also
the algorithmic problem solving and statistics are an important part of my current job, because
without them I would not be able to develop the methods I want to implement.

Which additional qualifications should one gain as a student that are crucial or useful
for your current profession?

One thing that you should definitely learn during your studies is working with linux and bash.
You can do many convenient things for parsing, data exploration etc. with the functionality of
bash, so it makes your life much easier if you know how to use it, or at least, where to look it

Is there anything from the Master’s program that evokes especially strong memories?

I really enjoyed my Erasmus semester and my “Forschungspraktikum”, which I also did
abroad. The “Forschungsmodul” and “Forschungspraktikum” are two great opportunities to go
abroad and I can only recommend to do so.

What advice would you give the master students who would like to pursue a similar

Ask a Professor if he/she know of any open PhD positions in a field you find interesting. You
will invest a lot of time in the topic, so make sure that the research are fits you interests and
skills. You can also apply for a PhD program at graduate school, where you most likely will
also hear some lectures.