Saturday, June 2, 2012

Career in Biochemistry

Biochemistry is a branch which is concerned with the chemistry of the biological processes. The study of biochemistry deals with the chemical combinations and reactions which take place in biological processes such as growth, metabolism, reproduction, heredity etc., as well as the effect of the environment on living organisms. Studying structures and functions of enzymes, protiens, carbohydrates, fats, process of metabolism and the molecular basis of the action of genes also form a part of biochemistry. Advances made in biochemistry has made significant contributions towards elucidation and understanding of the DNA structure.

Nature of Work
Biochemists generally pursue research related work in the following fields.

MEDICINE: Biochemists, in this field carry out diagnostic tests and investigations for finding out causes of diseases. Their major concern is to study the role of genetic transmission of diseases from one generation to another. They also try to figure out the chemical changes that take place in the cells of the body parts which signal the onset of various diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, mental disorders like epilepsy etc. Research related to identification and analysis of chemical processes like muscular contraction, reproduction, metabolism etc also relates to their job.
AGRICULTURE: Biochemists develop and inovate new improved techniques for crop cultivation, pest control management and crop storage management. Contributions made in this field by biochemists has helped to better the output and quality of agricultural produce.
NUTRITION: In this field biochemists have researched and studied the effects of certain food stuffs, minerals, protiens, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins, when consumed in excess or in deficient quantities, on the human body. The mechanism of fermentation process which has been practised for past many years was discovered by biochemists only.

Biochemistry is a field of intense research, hence to be a good biochemist requires, inquisitive attitude, determination, perseverance and keen observation sense along with intelligence and hard work. Research is often a team work and therefore the individual should have team spirit, to work as a part of the unit. The work sometimes consume a lot of time so patience, stamina to work for long hours and tenacity become other important requisites.

Professional Courses
Biochemistry can be pursued by those having background in science at 10+2 level. Individuals interested in pursuing this subject can intially study the subject in the B.Sc. course and further continue with it till M.Sc. and Ph.D. level.

Career Prospects
The career prospects and employment opportunities of biochemists have shown considerable improvement over the past years. Jobs are being offered by both government and private medical institutions and hospitals engaged in research activities related to various diseases and disorders like AIDS, cancer, mental disorders etc. The pharmaceutical industry where genetically engineered drugs are developed and manufactured also look forward to employing biochemists. Research related agricultural industries and institutions also absorb individuals with background in biochemistry.