Study Molecular and Cell Biology

What is molecular and cell biology?

Molecular and cell biology is an aspect of biomedical science that looks at the world on a molecular scale. Molecules are the building blocks of all living things, the smallest unit a body or substance can be divided into.

One step up from molecules, cells are the source of the tiny, complex systems responsible for generating biological signals, proteins, chemicals and more.

Molecular and cell biology concerns the study of how the smallest elements of biological bodies and substances function and interact. This work is part of the complex puzzle of life as we know it.

Biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, bioengineering, cancer biology, metabolic disease, immunology, biotechnology and bioinformatics can be 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.

Within biomedicine, molecular and cell biology has an important focus on the prevention and early intervention of many diseases.

Research in this area is primarily concerned with developing diagnostic devices and new clinical treatments that may extend healthy life; combat ageing, cancer, allergies, metabolic and autoimmune diseases; and assist patients battling dementia, depression, and inheritable and acquired diseases. This also extends to finding cures and developing ongoing treatments where possible.

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 such as for COVID-19 all around the world.

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Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences

Learn how change on the tiniest of scales can have the greatest of impacts.

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 and research is highly valued.

Working as a molecular and cell biologist, your findings may contribute directly to product development and testing in different industries. Or, if you choose to direct your efforts into academia, you may publish molecular and cell biology data, make vital discoveries or further the research 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 the immune system, cells and cellular behaviour. You may also use various 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 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, biotechnology, agriculture, aquaculture and innovative biomaterials, with near limitless opportunities for you to explore. DNA sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and cloning technologies are all essential to most aspects of molecular and cell biology and 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 has the potential to bring about 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 Biomedical Sciences majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology from JCU, you may hold positions such as:

  • Academic researcher
  • Bioinformatician
  • Biomedical manufacturing technician
  • Clinical scientist
  • Consultant
  • Industry researcher
  • Medical or scientific policy advisor
  • Molecular cell biologist
  • Pharmaceutical researcher.
A man wearing a lab coat holds up a piece of scientific equipment.
A gloved hand points to a laptop with many cords coming out of it.

Why study Molecular and Cell Biology at JCU?

When you study Molecular and Cell Biology through the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences 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 can participate in programs that link with local hospitals, JCU’s student mentor programs and JCU innovation initiatives.

Depending on your field of study, you may take advantage of JCU’s Global Experience opportunities. Experience the world-class research and learning taking place in Europe, Asia or the Americas, to deepen your understanding of challenges 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.

Rhy Gillman

Rhys Gillman


Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology

"JCU was the obvious choice for my tertiary education as it offered leading education in Biomedical Sciences and is taught by real research scientists! Completing this course seamlessly led me to a postgraduate education under the same researchers who had taught and inspired me."

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