This year we are pleased to introduce our new series: Team Insights.
Once a month, we will offer you a chance to get to know a Microbiome Insights team member on a deeper level. We hope to show you the faces of the people you will be working with and the human element behind the now virtual interaction.
For our first Team Insights, we want you to meet Erick Cardenas Poire who is our Senior Director of Bioinformatics. He earned his B.Sc. from Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Erick has conducted research on the role of microbial communities in bioremediation, plant-growth promotion in biofuel crops, and nutrient cycling in forest soils. He brings to MBI expertise in the analysis of metagenomes, and in the development of statistical and bioinformatics tools.
If you want to connect with Erick on Twitter, his handle is @erickcardenasp.
Hello Erick, thank you for taking the time to do this. Just to start off, when did you start at Microbiome Insights?
A: January of 2017.
What do you do at Microbiome Insights? Describe your role?
A: I am bioinformatician, I use computational methods and statistics to analyze biological data.
What interests you most about the area of the microbiome?
A: I am interested in the role of microbes in nature and how we can use this knowledge to improve our life.
What do you enjoy most about Microbiome Insights?
A: I enjoy that I have the opportunity to work with multiple projects, help researchers, develop my skills, and work with smart and nice people.
How would you describe your job to a bunch of five-year-olds?
A: I use computers and very advanced technologies to see what microbes are doing in the world and how we can use this information to make our life better.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?
A: If you want to be a bioinformatician you need to have broad range of skills in science, biology, statistics, and computer science.
What are your passions outside of work?
A: Music, videogames, and Dungeons and Dragons.
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
A: I can play guitar and other instruments poorly but with enthusiasm.
If you could get a new skill in 10 minutes, what would it be?
A: Learn French or piano.
How have you made the most of your time working from home?
A: I try to keep myself motivated with music and I take snack breaks. I also talk constantly with other members of the team.
What’s your favorite music genre?
A: I enjoy all types of music.
If you could make any fictional creature real, which would you choose?
What does diversity mean to you?
A: The variety of genes, organisms, and ecosystems.
Thank you again Erick for taking the time to let us get to know you better. And to our readers, if you’ve been looking for either an experience bioinformatician or an enthusiastic Dungeon Master for your weekend D&D games, we’re offering a two for one special!