MIODx – Literature Search Tool

The Problem Statement

I was approached by Jeremy, a colleague and friend who has many connections to the worlds of biology and research, who had just started working with a bioinformatics startup called MIODx.
I started out by making a relatively simple explainer video with them.  Once that was finished, Jeremy showed me the front-end mockup of an app he was building for them, and I enthusiastically pitched myself on working on that product.  What a perfect opportunity:  building a React app for a real client and real money!
At the beginning of the project, there existed the front-end mockup, and a REST API that fetched the results and turned them into JSON.  My job was to write all the code that connected the two together.

Challenge Accepted

Here’s their description of the app…
“The ClonoMap™ literature search tool enables the end-user to search publicly available TCR repertoire profiling datasets by entering specific V gene names of interest, CDR3 amino acid sequences and disease names as keywords. The user can search their terms of interest by clicking on the left tabs for each of the options and entering the keywords as described below for each of the search functions. The tool utilizes the publications listed through PubMed and also other curated datasets that are queried from AIRR seq datasets, and the guidelines for usage of the data is available and should be referenced in the documentation.”
In the common tongue, it’s a tool that allows researchers to query the PubMed and iReceptor databases for results pertaining to genetics, view the results, and export the data as a .csv file for further analysis.
The scope of this project changed numerous times over the course of development.  The CSS feature was added almost towards the end.
This also involved building a custom Docker container!  My buddy Chris helped me with that.

My Conclusion

This project made me a lot more confident in my skills as a software developer.  It was a chance to learn a whole new way of building web apps: React, node.js, Docker, and others, all of which are in very high demand.  Best of all, I got paid to do it, thereby making me a Certified Professional Software Developer™.