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Understand how bodies react to invaders like allergens and germs.

What does an Immunologist do?

As an Immunologist, you understand the body’s natural immunity to invaders. What does that mean? It means that you study the way the body reacts to allergens, diseases, and viruses. More specifically, you try to get a better idea of how the body fights off harmful pathogens so that you can help create medicines that mirror that technique.

Depending on what type of Immunologist you are, you might work in a lab, a classroom, or a medical office.

Laboratory Immunologists work in labs for universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research facilities. You run tests to identify specific structures within the body. Then you plan and execute experiments, for example, to watch how the white and red blood cell counts change in the presence of pneumonia. You commonly present your findings to colleagues at industry conventions.

Other Immunologists choose to teach. In this role, you discuss the anatomy of the human body, diseases, autoimmune disorders, cells, and organs. Through discussion, lectures, homework assignments, and research, you prepare your students for jobs in the field.

The third set of Immunologists work in a clinical setting. In this position, you are a medical Doctor who specializes in issues affecting the immune system. Like other Doctors, you examine the patient, consider his or her medical history, make a diagnosis, and treat symptoms on an ongoing basis. Common diseases include asthma, allergies, HIV, and pneumonia.

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