Biochemists and Biophysicists

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Also known as:  Biochemist, Biological Chemist, Biophysicist, Clinical Biochemist, Physical Biochemist

ABOUT BIOCHEMIST OR BIOPHYSICIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
From huge animals to tiny plants, all living things are made up of cells. And each cell contains a microscopic universe of wonders. Biochemists and biophysicists are scientists who specialize in living cells and organisms. They study the chemicals, the structure, the actions and reactions of the bui ...
lding blocks of life.

Their work is used for a wide range of purposes, from finding new treatments for illness, to more nourishing food, as well as an increased understanding of how we think, feel, grow and change. To do this research, biochemists and biophysicists use complex equipment and extensive knowledge gaining in college and graduate school.

Their expertise is much in demand - by government, industry, universities, and research institutions. Biochemists and biophysicists usually work in laboratories. Depending on the project, the hours can be long, with a lot of time spent looking into microscopes or computer screens.

They need to be diligent and highly disciplined, able to patiently focus and keep careful records of their observations. Sometimes many years - and a lot of teamwork - is needed to complete a particular task, such as mapping a human gene. But these are people with a passion for science. The work they do today is laying the foundation for future breakthroughs in our understanding of life on our planet.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
MED
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS
Share research findings by writing scientific articles and by making presentations at scientific conferences.
Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
Prepare reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
Manage laboratory teams, and monitor the quality of a team's work.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Originality The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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