Biochemists and Biophysicists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Analytical Research Chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Biological Chemist
  • Chief Scientific Officer
  • Clinical Biochemist
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Clinical Researcher
  • Director of the Biophysics Facility
  • Genetic Engineer
  • Laboratory Director
View All

What They Do

  • 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.
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.
  • Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.
  • 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.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IAR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Artistic and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Recognition, but also value Achievement and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2018, the average annual wage in Kansas City, MO-KS was $130,230

Outlook

4.91%
avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 489 people in Kansas City, MO-KS. It is projected that there will be 598 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 24 openings due to growth and about 85 replacement openings for approximately 109 total annual openings.



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