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What They Do

Biochemists and Biophysicists Career Video

About This Career

Studies 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.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Shares research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Teaches or advises undergraduate or graduate students or supervises their research.
  • Manages laboratory teams or monitors the quality of a team's work.
  • Studies physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.
  • Develops new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
  • Writes grant proposals to obtain funding for research.
  • Designs or performs experiments with equipment, such as lasers, accelerators, or mass spectrometers.
  • Determines the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.
  • Prepares reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
  • Designs or builds laboratory equipment needed for special research projects.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Analytical Research Chemist
  • Scientist
  • Biophysics Researcher


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