Hassan är forskare i bioinformatisk på Genomic Medicine Centrum vid Karolinska sjukhuset.

What made you choose this education?

I started to learn programming at a very young age and ever since highschool I have been interested in both math and biology. I eventually did my bachelors studies in electrical and biomedical engineering. At that time I knew what I was going to go for my higher education and started looking up the computational biology field. After multiple courses, a masters degree, and PhD, I found bioinformatic science to be the best of three worlds: biology, mathematics, and computer science. Even though, after all these years, I consider myself more of a computational biologist than bioinformatic scientist.

Did you find your education difficult?

Bioinformatics training is not particularly difficult. What makes it hard (or challenging) is the requirement to learn biology, statistics and math, programming and developing some algorithmic mindset towards problem solving. This multidisciplinary training can be challenging at times, but I wouldn't call it particularly hard.

Please give us a brief picture of your job

I am a bioinformatic scientist at Genomic Medicine Center at Karolinska Hospital. My job is to develop an analysis pipeline (or what we call a bioinformatic analysis workflow) to analyze genome data from cancer patients. The result of this analysis is then sent to doctors and clinicians to assist them in diagnosing and hopefully treating cancer patients.

Is your work what you thought it would be?

It actually is! I love challenging tasks and algorithmic solutions in solving complex problems, and I get plenty of those as a bioinformatic scientist.

What is the best thing with your job?

It is the impact I can make in hopefully resulting in a more efficient cancer diagnostics. Sometimes that I come to think of it, it is the main reason I have continued working as a bioinformatic scientist.

The most successful bioinformaticians are always on the cutting edge of biology knowledge and a very good understanding of statistics.

Is there anything your think others who are considering your field should know?

As I mentioned above, one needs to be good in statistics and biology. And most bioinformatics study programs already offer these two. However, I would recommend to equip oneself with a bit of programming knowledge and skill as well.