Eric S Polinko

  • IT Coordinator/System Analyst


Office: (412) 624-0419
163 Crawford Hall
4278 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

While pursuing my graduate degree in Genetics the Internet explosion began, and I was very fortunate to be in a nice position to grab on for the ride. I studied the fertilization and embryonic development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in Dr. Susan Strome's lab, and taught computer courses for the Information Technology Education Program at IU Bloomington. It's hard to imagine now - but at the time, I was very fortunate to find any position that combined my interests in biology and computer science.  My job in the department has enabled me to learn a number of system, network, and database administration skills within the context of the biological sciences.

I'm a bit of a "jack-of-all-computational-trades" in the department: I'm involved in our undergraduate Bioinformatics major, help our faculty with issues in bioinformatics, and am our department's "IT person" - helping to keep BioSci's computational backbone running smoothly (and perhaps more importantly - serve as the main contact when departmental machines refuse to cooperate) 

I believe that the explosion in computer technology has created many possibilities for its use, but also a phenomenal amount of "junk." I am interested in trying to locate (or create) the rare needles hidden inside this monstrous haystack. In addition, I have always been intrigued by the many wonderful stories that can be woven from the biological sciences, so I'm tickled (as opposed to pickled) to work for a department so committed to undergraduate education.

[2022 update] a few things have changed in the paragraphs above: although my job hasn't changed much, I've been absorbed by the Borg named "PittIT" and now officially reside under their umbrella.  And the Bioinformatics major has been retired and substituted by the Computational Biology major (who's somewhat easier requirements have the ability to make our Bioinformatic major alumni somewhat physically ill).  Also my IT support coverage has expanded to PItt's Neuroscience department.