Let’s Talk: Biochemistry!


What is biochemistry?

Biochemistry explores chemical processes within living organisms to understand and solve biological problems. Biochemistry combines concepts and techniques from chemistry and the life sciences to study the structure, behavior, and interactions of complex molecules found in biological samples. The study of the chemistry behind biological processes and the synthesis of biologically active molecules are examples of biochemistry. Those in the field of biochemistry examine chemical reactions to build a strong foundational understanding of how all biochemical processes interact. The knowledge of all the chemical processes within the context of a human body provides the bases for advancements in the field of medicine and biotechnology. Biochemistry includes many sub-specialties such as clinical biochemistry, molecular genetics, biochemical pharmacology, and immunochemistry.

What does a biochemist do? What does it take to be a biochemist?

On a daily basis, biochemists study the chemical and physical principles of living things, such as biological processes such as cells reproductive capacity, development, heredity, and disease. Biochemists may also conduct research projects, manage laboratory teams, publish research findings, and present these findings to scientists and other interested parties at conferences. Alternatively, biochemists may work in a variety of career settings, such as manufacturing energy development or environmental restoration firms. A biochemist may choose to work in a hospital laboratory or work within a faculty as research staff, or as a teacher at the university, college, or secondary school level. Becoming a biochemist is not easy but not impossible either! Typically, the minimum education requirement for a biochemist is a university undergraduate degree, although most positions require the completion of graduate studies to earn a Master’s or PhD degree. Once you are a biochemist, you can look forward to performing tasks such as chemical analyses using sophisticated lab apparatus, conduct literature reviews, and design experiments to test theories.

Where is the field of biochemistry heading?

Biochemistry encompasses many scientific disciplines; between these disciplines, the focus of research varies greatly. In clinical biochemistry, current and future research involves elucidating the role of specific bio-molecules implicated in causing cancers or designing clinical tests that can screen for particular cancer types. Current and future research in biochemical pharmacology involves developing antiretroviral therapies in those infected with HIV and creating targeted drug therapies for those who have cancer. The field of biochemistry is currently plunging deeper into individualized medicine, which aims to predict, diagnose, and treat the individual patient based on their genetics, environment, and lifestyle.


Let’s Talk: Chemistry!