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Are there biotechnology careers with the patients or general public?

I'm going to be a sophomore in highschool and I'm passionate about subjects such as Math, Biology, Chemistry, etc. I'm really intrigued by biotechnology and the biomedical field, but I'm unsure about going into careers such as a biomedical engineer since I've never really had any engineering experience. Are there any careers dealing with biotechnology such as prosthetic limbs or even things like stem cells without going into the main engineering? I would love to interact with the general public or patients. Thank you. #medicine #biomedical #hospital #biotechnology

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Roshan’s Answer

I am currently a senior bioengineering major in pursuit of going towards the business side of the marketplace however, I have learned quite a bit about the biotech industry and those adjacent to it as well.

As an undergraduate biomedical/bioengineering major, there will not really be many job opportunities for you to work in direct contact with patients. There are segments of research that involve talking, surveying and experimenting with patients but that does not make up the primary duties of the work.

If you want to pursue prosthetics as you mentioned, a career route you may want to look into would be electrical or mechanical engineering and either take a minor, specialty, or graduate degree in a biology related field. The electrical or mechanical engineering is to prime you in the realm of robotics, circuitry, and feedback which are all very essential to the prosthetics implementation process. The biology is not too difficult to learn and that can be done at either an elective level - easy to handle if you enter college with several AP credits that free up time and schedule space - or at a graduate degree level.

Good Luck!

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Daniela’s Answer

Hello Bao-Tien,

Biotechnology in the United States is a dynamic industry so there are many opportunities for employment. There are many occupations within biotechnology such as: quality control, quality assurance, information technology, human resources, facilities, and infrastructure maintenance and manufacturing.

The following reflect the various divisions within a biotechnology company:

-Research and Development: Discover promising drug candidates. Functions include discovery research, bioinformatics, and animal sciences.

-Operations: Make commercial quantities of a candidate drug available and assess environmental impact and safety of a new product.

-Clinical Research: Take the new drug through the FDA approval process after emerging from the R&D department. Also manage all clinical drug trials and oversee all information related to the drug candidate.

-Quality: Responsible for quality control, assurance, and validation. Ensure that all products meet standards of quality in manufacturing process.

-Finance and Administration: Responsible for legal relationships to investors, creditors, and employees. Also maintain companywide computer systems/IT.

-Business Development: Responsible for identifying prospective new alliance partners and managing existing ones. Also includes marketing function (market research, targeting customers, promotion strategy) and sales function (meet customers in the field—often with specialist physicans).

-Project Management: Responsible for ensuring that work requiring collaboration of several departments goes smoothly and efficiently.

-Commercial Strategy: Responsible for leading worldwide product lifecycle management. Also work closely with management, marketing, sales, R&D, and corporate development.

-Strategic Planning: Responsible for identifying major milestones, investments, and decisions for successful profits of a product. Assess commercial viability of a product in the target market.

Be familiar with state and national biotech organizations and professional groups. Join the Biotechnology Institute forums and connect with our social media communities.

One career option in biotechnology is becoming a geneticist. Genetics is the study of the mechanisms of heredity and variation in living organisms. Geneticists study the evolution, interaction and duplication of plant, animal and human genes.

Research geneticists conduct laboratory research in areas like biomedical genetics, developmental genetics, biochemical and molecular genetics, forensics, plant and animal genetics and population genetics. Medical geneticists help diagnose and treat human genetic disorders such as Down syndrome in hospitals and private clinics. Genetics counselors study familial health records, observe recurring inheritance patterns and identify individuals at risk for developing genetic disorders.

Requirements to be a Geneticist

Most geneticists earn a graduate degree. Medical geneticists attend four years of medical school and complete a 2-year residency to earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. They go on to complete another 2-year residency in clinical genetics in order to become a medical geneticist.

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I wish you all the best!!