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Careers in Biochemistry


BIOCHEMISTRY involves studying the chemistry of living things such as substances, compounds and processes. Biochemists combine the fields of microbiology, cell biology, genetics, chemistry, cell biology, and physics in their day-to-day work or experiments. They get into the most, minute characteristics of organisms, and their biological processes. They may be identifying the way in which DNA, which carries the genetic information, is transferred between cells and can be manipulated. Biochemistry finds application in clinical and forensic science and in the food and pharmacological industries. Biochemists are contributing to advances in a wide variety of areas, including health, agriculture and the environment. The screening of unborn babies for disease and investigation of possible cures for illnesses such as cancer and AIDS are possible due to progress in the biochemical understanding of disease The work environment could be the government, private sector, laboratories, hospitals, universities, and other educational and research institutions. USEFUL ATTRIBUTES Problem-solving, research and analytical skills, and curiosity are important traits for future biochemists. Good oral and written communication skills are critical as many scientists work as part of a team, write research papers or proposals, and have contact with clients or customers with nonscience backgrounds. Observational, planning, team work, organisational, and computational skills are important for all scientists, including biochemists. EDUCATION Start with science in plus two/equivalent with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths for future career in Biochemistry. Although some universities do offer biochemistry during graduation, post graduation really establishes you as a biochemist. MSc Biochemistry is offered in more than forty universities. You can opt for a Junior Research Fellowship after MSc by appearing for the UGCCSIR JRF/NET exam. This could lead to a lectureship and a career in research and development, consulting or allied work. Some medical colleges may offer MD Biochemistry open to MBBS graduates. Central Drug Research Institute, Industrial Toxicological Research Institute, National Botanical Research Institute, etc would offer scope for advanced studies and research. PROMINENT INSTITUTIONS
  • • Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (www.amu.ac.in)
  • • All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (www.aiims.edu or www.aiims.ac.in)
  • • University of Allahabad, Allahabad (www.auadmission.com)
  • • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (www.bhu.ac.in)
  • • University of Delhi, Delhi (www.du.ac.in)
  • • University of Lucknow, Lucknow (www. lkouniv.ac.in)
(Listing is indicative) EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS Biochemists may work in vaccine research, hormone production, virology or immunology; food science jobs; plant science jobs; or zoology jobs in areas from marine biology to entomology. They could be placed in industry, hospitals, forestry, agriculture, dietetics, research institutes, education and associated areas. They may work in p h a r m a c e u t i c a l , food, brewing, biotechnology and agrochemical companies not just to develop new products but also to monitor the production, quality control and safety of existing ones.