Biochemistry studies the chemical components that make up and affect living beings, to understand their operation and improve it.
Gabriela is a Biochemist Specialist in Haemostasis. In charge of the Haemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory …
What is Biochemistry about?
Biochemistry is a fundamental science for the knowledge of living beings, since it identifies and acts on each of the chemical elements that make up, shape and affect any form of life for better or for worse. Thus, it is relevant for many disciplines, such as medicine, biotechnology, genetics or food technology. Thanks to it, fundamental elements such as enzymes, genes, acids, etc. can be identified, studied and modified and act on them to improve the quality of life, either through the generation of medicines, the handling of food, the study of diseases. and else. It is a multidimensional profession, which is divided into an infinity of branches and works alongside numerous professions, at the same time that it has allowed the formation of many of them, such as nutrition.
How many branches does Biochemistry have and what are they?
The internal varieties of Biochemistry are innumerable, as well as the autonomous disciplines that emerge from it, which opens up wide possibilities for you when it comes to specializing, choosing the area of your taste and interest, and finding a suitable job. Only some of the branches present in this profession are: pharmacology, metabolic biochemistry, clinical laboratory, cellular biochemistry, enzymology, endocrinology, clinical biochemistry, virology, etc. You can also specialize in autonomous areas, once you have your degree in Biochemistry, such as nutrition, public health, food technology, etc.
What tasks does a Biochemist perform on a day-to-day basis?
The Biochemist performs an important variety of tasks, according to the orientation he chooses and the job in which he performs. Their tasks can range from obtaining and studying clinical analyzes; laboratory research; quality control and food bromatology; nutritional studies; study, development, production and control of pharmaceutical products; toxicological studies; research and development of products related to the agricultural industry; control of epidemic diseases; etc. He is also often involved in theoretical research and teaching.
What characteristics should a Biochemistry student have?
Of course, there is no list of requirements to start this career, but you will need some personal characteristics to be able to perform adequately in this profession. You must have a passion for certain “hard” sciences such as chemistry, mathematics, biology, or physics; being attracted to the idea of working in research; be patient, methodical and organized; have concern for issues that concern life, its conservation and its improvement; be curious about the inner workings of living things; be observant and persistent.
What is the job opportunity of a Biochemist?
The possibilities of professional practice in this discipline is as wide and varied as the profession itself. A professional graduated from the Biochemistry career can apply, just to give some examples, their knowledge in some of the following institutions:
- Clinical analysis laboratories.
- Drug stores or pharmaceutical laboratories.
- Universities and research centers.
- Hospitals and clinics.
- Within the research, development and / or production departments of companies in the chemical, agricultural, food, pastry industries, etc.
- Various government agencies.
- As an expert in judicial investigations.
- Advising on biosafety issues.
What is studied in Biochemistry?
The study plans that you will find will be as varied as the discipline itself and each house of studies will carry out its own orientation, but if we can give you some basic subjects that you will see in most of them, such as: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Design of Experiments, Microbiology, Bromatology, Endocrinology, Immunology, Laboratory Practice, Statistics, Analytical Chemistry, Mathematical Analysis, Algebra, etc.
Advantages of studying Biochemistry:
The variety of branches into which it is divided will allow you to achieve greater specialization and find the job niche in which to stand out.
The labor offer is very wide and grows day by day.
During your studies you will acquire very varied knowledge that will give you the opportunity to get involved in other disciplines in case you do not find the desired exit within Biochemistry.
Although not in all areas, most of your knowledge as a Biochemist will serve you anywhere in the world where you want to reside.
Disadvantages of studying Biochemistry:
Most of the degree courses in Biochemistry have are of long duration.
Specialists recommend doing some kind of postgraduate degree in order to achieve a specialization and properly insert into the labor field.
Subjects tend to be somewhat complex, so it can involve a significant intensity of study.
Although the job opportunity is diverse, it will also depend on the state of development of some areas in the country where you work.
Where to study Biochemistry?
Argentina: The Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from the National University of La Plata has a duration of 6 years. At the UBA, the same career lasts 5 and a half years, including compulsory professional practices. This university also offers you specialization careers in Clinical Bacteriology; Cytology, Endocrinology; Hematology and Clinical Chemistry, all of 2 years duration. On the other hand, you can do master’s degrees in: Biotechnology, Bromatology and Technology of Food Industrialization, Science and Technology Policy and Management, and Medical Molecular Biology, all with a duration of 2 years, while the Master’s in Public Health lasts 1 year and a half. The Higher Institute of Health Sciences offers the Biochemistry Auxiliary Technician course, which lasts 2 years.
Chile: The University of Chile has a Bachelor of Biochemistry with a duration of 6 years. Among other postgraduate degrees, they offer you a Master in Biochemistry and a Master in Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine, of 120 credits each.
Spain: At the Autonomous University of Barcelona you can do the Biochemistry degree, which lasts 4 years. It also offers you the Master in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine; as well as the Master in Advanced Biotechnology, both of 1 year duration. The Degree in Biochemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid also lasts 4 years, a university that will offer you the same master’s degree as the one in Barcelona, also 1 year. The Autonomous University of Madrid dictates the Degree in Biochemistry, as well as the Master in Biotechnology and the Doctorate in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine. In Granada: University of Granada, Málaga: University of Málaga, Córdoba: University of Córdoba, Seville: University of Seville, Balearic Islands University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Albacete: University of Castilla la Mancha (UCLM), Badajoz: University of Extremadura, Barcelona: Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), University of Barcelona (UB), Tarragona: Rovira i Virgili University (URV), Madrid: Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Murcia: University of Murcia (UM), Basque Country: University of the Basque Country, Navarra University of Navarra (UNAV) Valencia: University of Valencia (UV).
Mexico: The UNAM has in its curriculum the Bachelor’s Degree in Diagnostic Biochemistry, with a duration of 4 years. You can also do the Master and / or Doctorate in Biochemical Sciences, which last 2 and 4 years, respectively. At the National Polytechnic Institute you have the opportunity to study Biochemical Engineering, for 4 and a half years, as well as a master’s and doctorate in Biomedicine and Molecular Biotechnology or Chemicobiological Sciences.
Uruguay: The University of the Republic allows you to study the career of Clinical Biochemist, which lasts 5 years.
Curious fact: The greatest achievement in the history of Biochemistry was given by the Human Genome Project, which succeeded in identifying and explaining the functioning of the approximately 25,000 genes that make up human DNA. The project lasted 13 years, 2 less than estimated, had the participation of scientists from 120 countries and a budget of about 3 billion dollars. This phenomenal discovery has opened the possibility of studying all kinds of diseases and making it easier to combat them. It has also implied the possibility of remarkable advances in numerous fields, such as biotechnology, biology, the study of evolution, etc. An important curiosity is the relative to the number of genes. Humans do not have many more genes than a mouse or a simple plant, but each gene is responsible for the creation of some 100,000 different types of proteins, for whose manipulation this discovery has been incredibly important.