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Get a Job in Genomics


Salaries, stats, and schools for your genomics career

By Adrienne Burke

For job prospects, the genomics industry is booming. Top execs are well paid, headhunters are hopping, and new genomics and bioinformatics training programs are proliferating like fruit flies. To get a taste of what the job market is like out there, GT polled six recruitment consultants who specialize in placing life sciences professionals.

We also scanned the Securities and Exchange Commission website to compile a list of top genomics execs’ compensation packages (who’s not curious about this stuff?) and we summarize a list compiled recently by our sister publication, BioInform, of 30 academic bioinformatics training programs. (For more detailed information on those, please visit



Genome Technology polled six headhunters who specialize in life sciences and genomics jobs.

Salary ranges for execs in genomics companies:

$150,000 ¯ $500,000

VP or other senior manager:
$125,000 ¯ $240,000

Director level, R&D leader:
$90,000 ¯ $150,000

$65,000 ¯ $125,000

Systems, technical professional, bioinformatics:
$65,000 ¯ $190,000

Product line or other manager level:
$70,000 ¯ $125,000


Most common reason for job change in genomics:




Lack of recognition

Lack of capital

Bad management


Placed from outside US:

10-40 percent

Type of company that is biggest source of business for recruiters:

5 out of 6 said genomics (as opposed to biotech, big pharma, agriscience, and technology)

Regions that are the number one source of business for search firms:

3 out of 6 said Northeast

3 out of 6 said West Coast

MidAtlantic was ranked 3rd by 4 firms

Female professionals placed:

15-50 percent

Average age of professionals placed: 38

Typical level of education for genomics industry professionals: PhD

Industry experience:

3 out of 6 headhunters said 50 percent of the professionals they place have a computer science or bioinformatics background

Life sciences recruiters polled by Genome Technology:

• Double-Helix Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Fe, NM: Molly Ryan, president, 505.983.2411 or mollyryan

• Executive Biosearch Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.: Matt Takahashi, president, 310.378.1217 or [email protected]

• Mankuta Gallagher Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: Erik Mankuta, president, 954.720.9645

• Neil Michael Group New York, NY: Neil Solomon, president, 212.631.0999 or [email protected]

• SR Clarke Fairfax, Va.: Chris Catoggio, VP life sciences, 703.934.4200 x138 or [email protected]

• TechFind Cambridge, Mass.: Amy Lurier, president, 508.647.0111 or [email protected]



How does your salary compare to the top genomics execs? Compensation packages are generous for the top science and technology dogs at the Genome Technology Index companies. But nobody outdoes the Applera chief. CEO Tony White raked in a salary last year of $812,693. In addition, he earned a $1.4 million bonus, $250,000 in “other” compensation, and $14.4 million in “all other” compensation, which included $192,679 for personal use of the Applera jet. Maybe you’d just settle for the airplane time?

Aclara Biosciences

CEO $290,306 (plus $108,750 bonus)

CTO $200,000 (plus $47,500 bonus)


CEO $370,014 (plus $250,000 bonus)

President $312,560 (plus $200,000 bonus and $94,652 “other”)

Applied Biosystems

President $453,000 (plus $533,012 bonus, and $7,191,180 “all other”)

Aurora Biosciences

CEO $369,312 (plus $169,486 bonus)

Sr. VP Discovery Biology $190,000 (plus $61,370 bonus)

Bruker Daltonics

CEO $114,663 (plus $124,000 bonus)

Managing Director $100,487


CEO $379,173 (plus $173,254 bonus)

VP Research $203,952 (plus $29,475 bonus)


President/CSO $403,632 (plus $358,514 bonus, and $1,556,783 “all other”)


CEO $233,100

CTO $177,405 (plus $53,280 bonus)


CEO $221,357 (plus $200,000 bonus, $20,838 other)

VP R&D $152,083 (plus $30,233 bonus)


CEO $267,930 (plus $38,864 “other”)

VP R&D $150,000 (plus $50,000 bonus)


CEO $235,000 (plus $82,500 bonus)

CSO $225,000 (plus $56,250 bonus)

Gene Logic

CEO $375,000 (plus $512,500 bonus)

CTO $208,333 (plus $78,000 bonus)

CIO $275,000 (plus $125,000 bonus)


CEO $225,000 (plus $67,500 bonus)

Chief Scientist $225,000 (plus $45,000 bonus)

Genomic Solutions

CEO $225,000 (plus $277,450 bonus)

VP Genomics $95,004 (plus $46,000 bonus)


CEO $269,716 (plus $82,500 bonus, $56,250 other)

CSO $155,385 (plus $20,000 “other”)

VP Genomics $171,002


CEO $341,365 (plus $253,255 bonus)

CSO $234,886 (plus $133,035 bonus)


CEO $366,667

CTO $290,000


CEO $333,375

President, Genomics $255,583

President, Molecular Biology $245,816

Lexicon Genetics

CEO$270,833 (plus $175,812 bonus, $78,824 “other”)

President Genomics $206,250 (plus $47,953 bonus)


CEO $275,000 (plus $75,000 bonus)

VP, Instruments $190,000 (plus $30,000 bonus)

VP, Scientific Affairs $190,000 (plus $30,000 bonus)

VP, Clinical Affairs $190,000 (plus $30,000 bonus)


CEO $262,571

VP, IP $191,538

Molecular Devices

CEO $325,000 (plus $195,000 bonus)


CEO $336,000 (plus $295,000 bonus)

Sr. VP and GM $250,000 (plus $92,000 bonus)


CEO $350,000 (plus $326,250 bonus, $35,000 other)


CEO $202,813 (plus $3,094 “other”)

Sr. VP R&D $165,577 (plus $105,623 “other”)


CEO $265,883 (plus $110,000 bonus)

CSO $246,250 (plus $46,000 bonus)

Third Wave

CEO $255,000 (plus $80,000 bonus)

Sr. VP R&D $154,500 (plus $28,800 bonus)


CEO $132,425


CEO $294,808 (plus $96,250 bonus)

VP Research $210,000 (plus $42,000 bonus)

VP Diagnostic & Process Dev’t $174,769 (plus $35,000 bonus)

Source: SEC, 2000 data



Stanford University was the first in the US to offer graduate study in biomedical informatics. Today, at least 30 schools offer either PhD, MS, or BS studies in bioinformatics and related fields. The list here was compiled by BioInform. For further details and contact information for each program, see BioInform’s July 30, 2001 issue at


Baylor College of Medicine

PhD in structural and computational biology and molecular biophysics

Boston University

MS and PhD in bioinformatics

Carnegie Mellon

BS in biological sciences/computer science; MS in computational biology; PhD through Merck computational biology and chemistry program compbio.html

George Mason University

PhD in computational sciences and informatics; MNPS with bioinformatics track bioinf_desc.html

Georgia Tech

MS in bioinformatics; PhD in biology with emphasis in bioinformatics

Indiana University

BS in informatics with bioinformatics cognate; MS in bioinformatics

Iowa State University

MS, PhD in bioinformatics and computational biology

Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette U

MS in bioinformatics

NJ Institute of Technology

MS in computational biology; PhD in biology/computational biology track

North Carolina State

MS and PhD in bioinformatics

Northeastern University

MS in bioinformatics and computational biology

Northern Illinois University

MS certificate of graduate study in bioinformatics

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

BS in bioinformatics and molecular biology; graduate certificate in bioinformatics; MS in applied science with concentration in bioinformatics; MS in information technology with bioinformatics application area

Rutgers University

PhD in quantitative biology

Stanford University

MS and PhD in biomedical informatics

University of Albany

PhD in comparative functional genomics

University of California, Los Angeles

MS and PhD in bioinformatics

University of California, San Diego

PhD in bioinformatics

University of California, San Francisco

MS and PhD in biological and medical informatics

University of California, Santa Cruz

BS in bioinformatics

University of Memphis

MS in bioinformatics; PhD in computer science with bioinformatics track

University of Nebraska, Omaha

MS and PhD in pathology and microbiology with specialty track in bioinformatics

University of Pennsylvania

BS, MS and PhD programs in bioinformatics

University of Pittsburgh

MS and PhD in biomedical informatics training.htm

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

BS and MS in bioinformatics

University of Southern California

MS in computational molecular biology

University of Texas at El Paso

MS in bioinformatics

University of Washington

PhD in computational molecular biology

Virginia Tech

(Virginia Bioinformatics Institute)

PhD in bioinformatics

Washington University, St. Louis

PhD in computational biology




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