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What do Molecular and Cellular Biologists do?

Research and study cellular molecules and organelles to understand cell function and organization.

What are the Main Tasks of Molecular and Cellular Biologists?

  • Maintain accurate laboratory records and data.
  • Design molecular or cellular laboratory experiments, oversee their execution, and interpret results.
  • Conduct research on cell organization and function including mechanisms of gene expression, cellular bioinformatics, cell signaling, or cell differentiation.
  • Instruct undergraduate and graduate students within the areas of cellular or molecular biology.
  • Compile and analyze molecular or cellular experimental data and adjust experimental designs as necessary.
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, and meeting presentations.
  • Supervise technical personnel and postdoctoral research fellows.
  • Direct, coordinate, organize, or prioritize biological laboratory activities.
  • Perform laboratory procedures following protocols including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing, cloning and extraction, ribonucleic acid (RNA) purification, or gel electrophoresis.
  • Develop assays that monitor cell characteristics.
  • Evaluate new technologies to enhance or complement current research.
  • Monitor or operate specialized equipment such as gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters, and phosphoimagers.
  • Coordinate molecular or cellular research activities with scientists specializing in other fields.
  • Verify all financial, physical, and human resources assigned to research or development projects are used as planned.
  • Provide scientific direction for project teams regarding the evaluation or handling of devices, drugs, or cells for in vitro and in vivo disease models.
  • Conduct applied research aimed at improvements in areas such as disease testing, crop quality, pharmaceuticals, and the harnessing of microbes to recycle waste.
  • Develop guidelines for procedures such as the management of viruses.
  • Evaluate new supplies and equipment to ensure operability in specific laboratory settings.
  • Confer with vendors to evaluate new equipment or reagents or to discuss the customization of product lines to meet user requirements.
  • Participate in all levels of bio-product development including proposing new products, performing market analyses, designing and performing experiments, and collaborating with operations and quality control teams during product launches.
  • Design databases such as mutagenesis libraries.
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