Dr. Eckart Bindewald – from Heidelberg to Hood

22b2500Dr. Eckart Bindewald, an Adjunct Professor of Bioinformatics at Hood College, teaches Biomedical Web Applications and Data Visualization in the two-year-old program. He earned his Master’s and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Since moving to Frederick from the Bioinformatics Center of Excellence at the University at Buffalo in 2004, Dr. Bindewald has been working on computational RNA research at Leidos Biomedical Research and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. “I was involved in computationally designing a variety of RNA nanostructures (RNAs with unusual designed shapes like cubes, triangles or hexagons). Some of these structures were later confirmed experimentally and were shown to be able to down-regulate target genes.” Dr. Bindewald keeps a busy schedule, as he is also an associate editor of the journal DNA and RNA Nanotechnology and adjunct faculty in the Department of Mathematics at Frederick Community College.

In his opinion, Dr. Miranda Darby has done an incredible job managing the program created by Dr. Rachel Beyer. The scope of the program is comprehensive; ranging from computer science and programming skills to DNA and RNA sequence analysis to 3D modelling of biomolecules and – as mentioned – web technologies and data visualization pertaining to biomedical data.

Bindewald would recommend the program for a variety of reasons. Primarily, Bioinformatics is a fast-moving field, and as a beginner one may be overwhelmed trying to learn a spectrum of skills that are both relevant and modern. “That is the reason why learning alongside renowned experts in the field is extremely helpful, he adds. The offering of small-sized evening classes is particularly accommodating to the working professional. Moreover, Hood’s proximity to top government and industrial R&D facilities which aids in the ability to obtain internships and improve career prospects. “The “big picture” is that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. Biomedical data is now created at an ever accelerating pace, and experts with skills in data science and biology are needed who can develop new approaches to make sense of this data. It’s an exciting time to get into this field.”