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Research the chemical processes that take place inside the body.

What does a Biochemist do?

There are few fields of study more closely related to the human body than the field of biochemistry. As a biochemist, you don’t necessarily look at faces, arms, or feet, but your job impacts people’s health in profound ways. That’s because you study the human body from the inside—the very inside—out.

You study things like DNA and hormones. Consider a cell from a body (human, plant, or animal) that is diseased. Your job is to collect fluid or tissue samples and analyze them under a microscope.

You find the cells that the disease has damaged, and then further break down the components until you locate the precise protein or other component affected. This information is pivotal to the creation of new medicines.

Outside the world of diseases, you study reproduction. This, among other aspects of your studies, might take you out of your lab and into the field to gather samples. With plant or animal samples in hand, you can monitor reproductive activity, evaluate the impact of environmental changes on reproduction, and help identify methods for repopulating endangered species.

Since biochemistry is a fairly young science, there’s still a lot to be learned. You help build the knowledge base by expanding what is known about how cells die, how heat, pollution, and chemicals affect the body, and whether medications targeted for one area could benefit or handicap other organs.