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What does a Molecular Biologist do?

Learn all about Molecular Biologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Molecular Biologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

Molecular biologists conduct research on the structure and function of genes, proteins, and other biomolecules. They use this knowledge to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for treating diseases.

Molecular Biologist job duties include:

  • Design and oversee experiments to study the structure and function of genes, proteins, and other molecules
  • Develop new methods to purify, detect, quantify, or modify nucleic acids and proteins
  • Use computers to store, process, and analyze data
  • Identify and characterize new genes or regulatory elements
  • Investigate the role of genes in development, disease, or evolution
  • Generate models to study complex biological processes
  • Study the regulation of gene expression at the level of DNA, RNA, and proteins
  • Develop new techniques for genetic engineering or gene therapy
  • Use bioinformatics to analyze large data sets

Molecular Biologist Job Requirements

Molecular biologists typically have a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field, although some jobs may require a master’s degree or doctorate. Many molecular biologists have a specialty in a particular area of research, such as cancer or genetics. In addition to their scientific knowledge, molecular biologists must be able to use complex laboratory equipment and computers for data analysis and modeling. Some jobs may require certification from the American Board of Medical Genetics or the American Board of Biological Sciences.

Molecular Biologist Skills

  • A molecular biologist should have excellent communication skills.
  • A molecular biologist should be able to work independently.
  • A molecular biologist should have strong problem-solving skills.
  • A molecular biologist should be able to design experiments.
  • A molecular biologist should have strong data analysis skills.
  • A molecular biologist should be proficient in programming languages.
  • A molecular biologist should be able to use bioinformatics tools.
  • A molecular biologist should have knowledge of cell culture techniques.
  • A molecular biologist should be able to perform DNA and RNA extractions.
  • A molecular biologist should have PCR and qPCR experience.

Related: Top Molecular Biologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Molecular Biologist

Molecular biologists are scientists who study the structure and function of cells at a molecular level. They use their knowledge to develop new ways to diagnose and treat diseases, as well as to understand how cells work.

If you want to become a molecular biologist, you will need to complete a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field. After that, you will need to complete a doctoral degree in molecular biology. Once you have completed your education, you will need to find a job working in a laboratory or other research setting.

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