What is a Geneticist?
Table of Contents
A geneticist is someone who specializes in the science of genetics. This is a branch of biology that deals with the characteristics of different organisms, the development of such characteristics, and how these characteristics are passed on to their progeny. A geneticist will evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients with hereditary conditions or congenital malformations, and will also refer patients to other medical specialties.
What does a Geneticist do?
Geneticists study how different life forms vary and how these variations are passed on to succeeding generations. This requires them to conduct experiments in order to determine the origin, mechanisms, and governing laws of particular inherited traits.
Geneticists also seek out determinants (such as disease resistance, size, and colour differences) responsible for certain traits. They do this through careful analysis in order to gain understanding of the various relationships between heredity and factors like fertility and maturity.
Depending on where they work, geneticists might then develop methods to modify or generate new traits through the use of chemicals, radiation, or other means, or to use what they learn in genetic counselling, in managing a hereditary disease, or in teaching a new crop of future geneticists.
There are several branches of genetics that a person can choose to go into; each offers its own unique challenges and interesting subjects. Some geneticists go into agriculture in order to increase crop yield and learn about the resistance to various diseases that commonly affect valuable crops. Biomedicine applies a knowledge of genetics and genetic origin of some diseases in order to create medicines that target the causes of these diseases and disorders. They may also seek to treat genetic disorders that some people experience from birth, such as sickle-cell anemia.
Forensic scientists may use their knowledge of genetics to run DNA tests in order to verify the guilt or innocence of a certain suspect. A geneticist may be called to assist an archaeologist or historian in order to analyze ancient organic matter. Some get into the field of bioinformatics, which combines computer science with biology, attempting to analyze huge amounts of information, such as that in the human genome, and draw scientific conclusions from it.
Find your perfect career
Would you make a good geneticist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!
What is the workplace of a Geneticist like?
Geneticists can work in many different fields, doing a variety of jobs. There are many careers for geneticists in medicine, agriculture, wildlife, general sciences, or many other fields. Workplace depends on the type of work being done; most research geneticists work in the laboratory of a research facility. On rare occasions, some may go to the field to extract samples, however, this is usually done for them by others.
Medical geneticists work in hospitals, medical research facilities, or biotechnological research companies. Their research work may require them to work in these places in order to link medical practice with medical research on genetics and heredity. The laboratory of a medical or biotechnological research facility is a very clean and sterile environment, and is filled with the latest technological advances in analyzing an organism’s genome.
Professors teach at various learning institutions. Most work at colleges in biology departments with strong concentrations in genetics. Research may also be conducted by these learning institutions, and it is quite common to see biology and chemistry laboratories in such schools conducting genetic research.
Careers in Genetics: Featuring Dr. Laurie Demmer
Why Science? Plant Genetics
Chris On Why She Became A Geneticist And The Surprises Along The Way
Ask Dr. Kittles: What Do You Do As A Geneticist?
How Geneticists Link Genes to Diseases
A Decade Of The Human Genome (BBC Documentary)
Jo Newton - Livestock Geneticist
Bottoms Up to Finding Connection Between Genes And Addiction
What Is A Pediatric Geneticist?
Pediatric geneticists are trained to identify the causes and natural history of disorders in children.
Responsibilities Of A Clinical Geneticist
Clinical genetics is a branch of medicine that deals with hereditary genetic disorders. These include chromosome abnormalities that can lead to birth defects, gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis, and familial cancer.
As is the case with most occupations, the salary of a geneticist is determined by a lot of factors. This includes the education of the individual, the location, experience, job profile, etc.
How To Become A Geneticist: Career Path Guide
If you want to become a geneticist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a geneticist...
A Working Life: The Geneticist
Joe Rainger might still have been a chef, but for a degree change that took him out of the kitchen and plunged him into a world of DNA research.
Career Profile: Genetic Counselor
I chose to become a genetic counselor because I loved genetics and wanted a career combining the life and social sciences.
Careers In Clinical Molecular Genetics
Each of us carries 10 to 15 "mistakes" in our personal genetic code. Though most of us are blissfully ignorant of our genetic flaws, these typos in our DNA may determine whether we have children, develop colon cancer, or end up with Alzheimer's.
How To Become A Plant Geneticist: Career Guide
To become a plant geneticist you need a combination of having an interest in plant biology, research experience, laboratory experience and training and an advanced education.