Since Next Wave last covered bioinformatics, in our July 1996 Profiles of Bioinformaticians and February 1997 Bioinformatics Skills features, the prominence of the bioinformatician's role in modern biology has only increased. This month, Next Wave provides a comprehensive picture of the current state of bioinformatics, from the funding situation in Europe and the U.S. to the new bioinformatics degree programs and the immediate hiring needs of industrial and academic labs around the world.

In an introductory article, Next Wave sets the stage by examining the current bioinformatics job market and hiring trends for the future.


Germany's Jens Reich, who sees excellent opportunities for young scientists entering bioinformatics, follows with an article that explores the bioinformatics past as well as its future.


Turning to money and governmental support for bioinformatics research and training, Next Wave's Vid Mohan-Ram summarizes the current funding situation in the U.S. and Europe.


Many new funding initiatives support bioinformatics training, a topic that we cover in depth. In Europe, Next Wave's UK editor, Kirstie Urquhart, spent a day roaming the European Bioinformatics Institute, where she discussed the EMBL Ph.D. program with EBI students.


Crossing the Atlantic to the U.S., Bonnie Diehl and Pat Cummings describe John Hopkins University's part-time Master's program in biotechnology, which includes a bioinformatics track.


And Susan Davidson gives some hints on what you should look for in degree programs that you are considering.

And if that's not enough to keep you reading all week, we've also lined up four articles from practicing bioinformaticians.


Margret R. Höhe tells us about the challenges and opportunities for young scientists in the bioinformatics start-up environment. She works at Berlin-based GenProfile AG, the largest commercial spin-off from the German Human Genome Project.


Also in Germany, Peer Bork gives an inside view of biocomputing research at one of Europe's top research institutions and points out the skills that allow researchers to join the bioinformatics elite.


In Canada, Alex Nip, who was trained as a physicist, explains how he adapted his mathematical expertise to great effect in bioinformatics research.


And finally, Martin Leach, a self-confessed "genome hacker," tells us how he used his lifelong interest in computers to propel himself away from the lab bench and into senior management at Curagen Corp.

Want to find out more? Visit our bioinformatics resources page and follow the links to additional information in Next Wave and beyond.