Discover your career path

Molecular Geneticist

Study heredity at the molecular level.

What does a Molecular Geneticist do?

Molecular geneticists participate in cutting-edge research, figuring out how genes combine and contribute to disease. You spend the majority of your day in the laboratory working with patient samples and analyzing their genes to determine their risk for genetic diseases. To do this, you may have to develop your testing methods yourself, as this is an incredibly new field of study, and tests haven’t yet been discovered for all diseases. You then write reports detailing what you found, how you found it, and what can be done about it.

You may be asked to meet with patients to discuss your findings and what they mean, but it’s more likely that you explain your findings to doctors and allow the doctors to relay the results to their patients. This allows you to spend more time in the laboratory working on your research.

You may spend a significant portion of your time reading journals, attending conferences, and studying online reports about molecular genetics. You need to keep your skills current so that you can improve your techniques.