Biochemists and Biophysicists

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Study physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.
  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
  • Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.
  • Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team's work.
  • Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.
  • Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
  • Study the mutations in organisms that lead to cancer or other diseases.
  • Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, or living energy changes, such as growth, aging, or death.
  • Investigate the nature, composition, or expression of genes or research how genetic engineering can impact these processes.
  • Design or perform experiments with equipment such as lasers, accelerators, or mass spectrometers.
  • Study spatial configurations of submicroscopic molecules, such as proteins, using x-rays or electron microscopes.
  • Develop or execute tests to detect diseases, genetic disorders, or other abnormalities.
  • Produce pharmaceutically or industrially useful proteins, using recombinant DNA technology.
  • Research the chemical effects of substances, such as drugs, serums, hormones, or food, on tissues or vital processes.
  • Examine the molecular or chemical aspects of immune system functioning.
  • Research transformations of substances in cells, using atomic isotopes.
  • Develop or test new drugs or medications intended for commercial distribution.
  • Design or build laboratory equipment needed for special research projects.
  • Develop methods to process, store, or use foods, drugs, or chemical compounds.
  • Research how characteristics of plants or animals are carried through successive generations.
  • Prepare pharmaceutical compounds for commercial distribution.

Knowledge

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Foreign Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Gross Body Equilibrium
The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.

Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Interests

Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Analytical Research Chemist
Associate Professor
Biological Chemist
Cell Biologist
Clinical Biochemist
Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Clinical Researcher
Genetic Engineer
Genetic Scientist
Laboratory Director
Nanotechnologist
Pharmaceutical Scientist
Physical Biochemist
Postdoctoral Fellow
Process Engineer
Research Affiliate
Research Assistant
Research Associate
Research Chemist
Research Scientist
Scientist
Staff Toxicologist
Toxicologist

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$39.17 hourly, $81,480 annual.
Employment (2008):
26,410 employees