Studies & Degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology
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Molecular and Cellular Biology Study Programs
Molecular and Cell Biology is a relatively new field, a branch of biology concerned with the study and examination of the structure and properties of molecules found within cells. This is an area which also has links with biochemistry, where the chemical reactions of biological molecules are examined. The distinctive trait of molecular biology is that it looks at the interactions of molecules; molecular biologists try to understand how the various systems of the cell interact with one another, or how the cell works with the molecules found within it.
Except for studying the relationship between structure and functions of the cell, molecular and cell biologists also tend to look for similarities between different kinds of cells or between cells belonging to different species. Besides, a cell biologist is likely to be very interested in proteins, as there are many different kinds of proteins within cells, each of which has a purpose within the cell. A fact worth mentioning is that there are a number of other fields, closely linked with molecular and cell biology; a cell biologist’s work could relate closely to genetics, chemistry, or other fields. An example is cell division, which is described as the process in which cells split to produce more cells. An important part of this process is the division of strands of DNA, and therefore this is closely related to genetics. Physics and chemistry can also be very important, especially as they relate to the molecular composition of proteins. Therefore, a cell biologist would usually be knowledgeable in a variety of different fields.
An aptitude for sciences is definitely an important prerequisite for those, aspiring to become molecular and cell biologists. It is a demanding field, requiring true dedication to study and research. Here are other qualities to consider.
- Excellent research skills
- Very good written and oral communication skills
- Ability to work individually and as a part of a team
- Analytical and problem-solving qualities
- Dedication and perseverance
- Attention to detail
Preparation to become a molecular and cell biologist would require a significant amount of education. The best idea would be to start by taking science subjects at high school and participating in various science workshops, clubs, societies, projects, and so on. Molecular and Cell Biology is a double degree introduced by some universities in response to the recent and impending changes in biology. Such a degree is designed to better match the most current developments and requirements in the field. This is why you should be prepared to assimilate a vast amount of knowledge and seek ways to participate in research, whilst keeping up to date with the latest information in the field. Furthermore, a bachelor’s degree would not be sufficient if you are serious about pursuing a career in molecular and cell biology. You would be expected to advance with your education to earn a master’s and probably even a PhD. A PhD would definitely be required for you to secure some research positions.
Cell biologists are normally employed in research labs, working in government or academic settings. They may also conduct individual research.