Biochemists and Biophysicists

What they do:

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.

On the job, you would:

  • Prepare reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
  • Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
  • Manage laboratory teams, and monitor the quality of a team's work.
  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles and by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Develop and execute tests to detect diseases, genetic disorders, or other abnormalities.
  • Develop and test new drugs and medications intended for commercial distribution.
  • Study the mutations in organisms that lead to cancer and other diseases.
  • Study spatial configurations of submicroscopic molecules such as proteins, using x-rays and electron microscopes.
  • Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, and living energy changes such as growth, aging, and death.
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.

Knowledge

  • Biology
  • Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Production and Processing
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Writing
  • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning
  • Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics
  • Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Learning Strategies
  • Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Abilities

  • Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Originality
  • The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility
  • The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Flexibility of Closure
  • The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Processing Information
  • Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Interests

  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation
  • Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence
  • Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.