What is Molecular and Cell Biology?
Molecular and cell biology is an applied life science that underpins pharmacology, and other specialised areas of research and discovery.
Biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, bioengineering, cancer biology, metabolism, biotechnology and bioinformatics are all often studied as part of molecular and cell biology. Together, these fields examine the basis of all living matter and provide insights into complex biological interactions.
Research in this area is primarily concerned with developing diagnostic devices and new clinical treatments that may extend healthy life; combat ageing, cancer, metabolic disease and battle afflictions such as dementia, depression, and inheritable and acquired disease. This also extends to finding cures and developing ongoing treatments where possible.
Molecular and cell biology has an important focus on the prevention and early intervention of many diseases.
Vaccine development and immunology are two key areas of this discipline, and molecular and cell biology continues to play a crucial role in the development of vaccines and diagnostic tests for COVID-19 all around the world.
What does a molecular and cell biologist do?
As a molecular or cell biologist, you will study the foundations and causes of health and disease at a molecular level.
Many jobs in molecular and cell biology are research-focused, and you may spend your days designing and conducting experiments or collating and reporting on data. You may travel or present at various conferences throughout your career to share your research with your peers. Innovations in this field have and will continue to impact billions of people, so collaboration and the sharing of ideas is highly valued.
Working as a commercial molecular and cell biologist, your findings may contribute directly to product development and testing. Or, if you choose to direct your efforts into academia, you may publish molecular and cell biology data and work to further the discoveries of hundreds of other scientists around the world.
As a lab-focused molecular and cell biologist, you may undertake any number of scientific tasks, such as performing DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, cloning, protein biochemistry, histology, proteomics, metabolomics and genetic engineering, studying RNA and protein function, and examining cells and cellular behaviour. You may also use various and evolving software tools and technology for molecular modelling and other experiment design and execution.
Outside of the lab, as with many scientists, you may also be involved in activities to try to increase the exposure of your research and attract funding for your projects.
What jobs are there in molecular and cell biology?
Molecular and cell biology is central to modern medicine, agriculture, aquaculture and innovative biomaterials, with near limitless opportunities for you to explore. DNA sequencing, PCR and cloning technologies are essential to most aspects of molecular and cell biology and are rapidly advancing, providing you with powerful tools to contribute to innovative research and discoveries.
If you enjoy working with numbers, many future occupations look set to combine biomedical or molecular and cell biology knowledge with insights derived from data science. This promises previously unrecognised opportunities for new roles and research.
As a molecular and cell biologist, you could find yourself working across numerous industries, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, business consulting and biotechnology. JCU graduates go on to find work in research laboratories and institutes, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, bio-tech start-ups and diagnostic departments.
With a Bachelor of Science majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology from JCU, you may hold positions such as:
- Molecular cell biologist
- Pharmaceutical researcher
- Clinical scientist
- Academic researcher
- Commercial researcher
- Specialist allied health professional (further qualifications may be required)
- Biomedical manufacturing technician
- Medical or scientific policy advisor
Why study Molecular and Cell Biology at JCU?
When you study Molecular and Cell Biology through the Bachelor of Science at JCU, you will connect with world-class researchers who are passionate about their subject area.
JCU students gain access to state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities, including The Science Place and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. Here you will benefit from hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment and techniques, both in the field and in the lab.
You’ll also increase your industry exposure and employability with diverse volunteer opportunities throughout your studies. As you progress through your Molecular and Cell Biology coursework at JCU, you may like to explore programs that link in with local hospitals, join JCU student mentor programs and investigate JCU innovation initiatives.
Depending on your field of study, you may take advantage of JCU’s study abroad opportunities. Experience the world-class research and learning taking place in Europe, Asia or the Americas, to deepen your understanding of issues affecting the Tropics. Between the networks you create and the hands-on learning experiences you receive, you’ll take your degree to a whole new level.
At JCU, we know that every day is different, and your study needs are just as evolving. Benefit from a variety of study options on-campus at JCU Townsville or JCU Cairns, so you can plan your study around your other commitments. Make university work for you and explore your potential within Molecular and Cell Biology today.