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Become A Director Of Cell Biology

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Working As A Director Of Cell Biology

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $118,397

    Average Salary

What Does A Director Of Cell Biology Do

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

Duties

Medical scientists typically do the following:

  • Design and conduct studies that investigate both human diseases and methods to prevent and treat them
  • Prepare and analyze medical samples and data to investigate causes and treatment of toxicity, pathogens, or chronic diseases
  • Standardize drug potency, doses, and methods to allow for the mass manufacturing and distribution of drugs and medicinal compounds
  • Create and test medical devices
  • Develop programs that improve health outcomes, in partnership with health departments, industry personnel, and physicians
  • Write research grant proposals and apply for funding from government agencies and private funding sources
  • Follow procedures to avoid contamination and maintain safety

Many medical scientists form hypotheses and develop experiments, with little supervision. They often lead teams of technicians, and sometimes students, who perform support tasks. For example, a medical scientist working in a university laboratory may have undergraduate assistants take measurements and make observations for the scientist’s research.

Medical scientists study the causes of diseases and other health problems. For example, a medical scientist who does cancer research might put together a combination of drugs that could slow the cancer’s progress. A clinical trial may be done to test the drugs. A medical scientist may work with licensed physicians to test the new combination on patients who are willing to participate in the study.

In a clinical trial, patients agree to help determine if a particular drug, a combination of drugs, or some other medical intervention works. Without knowing which group they are in, patients in a drug-related clinical trial receive either the trial drug or a placebo—a pill or injection that looks like the trial drug but does not actually contain the drug.

Medical scientists analyze the data from all the patients in the clinical trial, to see how the trial drug performed. They compare the results with those obtained from the control group that took the placebo, and they analyze the attributes of the participants. After they complete their analysis, medical scientists may write about and publish their findings.

Medical scientists do research both to develop new treatments and to try to prevent health problems. For example, they may study the link between smoking and lung cancer or between diet and diabetes.

Medical scientists who work in private industry usually have to research the topics that benefit their company the most, rather than investigate their own interests. Although they may not have the pressure of writing grant proposals to get money for their research, they may have to explain their research plans to nonscientist managers or executives.

Medical scientists usually specialize in an area of research. The following are examples of types of medical scientists:

Cancer researchers research the causes of cancers, as well as ways to prevent and cure cancers. They may specialize in one or more types of cancer.

Clinical and medical informaticians develop new ways to use large datasets. They look for explanations of health outcomes through the statistical analysis of data.

Clinical pharmacologists research, develop, and test current and new drugs. They investigate the full effects that drugs have on human health. Their interests may range from understanding specific molecules to the effects that drugs have on large populations.

Gerontologists study the changes that people go through as they get older. Medical scientists who specialize in this field seek to understand the biology of aging and investigate ways to improve the quality of our later years. 

Immunochemists investigate the reactions and effects that various chemicals and drugs have on the human immune system.

Neuroscientists study the brain and nervous system.

Research histologists have a specific skill set that is used to study human tissue. They investigate how tissue grows, heals, and dies, and may investigate grafting techniques that can help people who have experienced serious injury.  

Serologists research fluids found in the human body, such as blood and saliva. Applied serologists often work in forensic science. For more information on forensic science, see the profile on forensic science technicians.

Toxicologists research the harmful effects of drugs, household chemicals, and other potentially poisonous substances. They seek to ensure the safety of drugs, radiation, and other treatments by investigating safe dosage limits.

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How To Become A Director Of Cell Biology

Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D., but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician.

Education

Students planning careers as medical scientists typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate students benefit from taking a broad range of classes, including life sciences, physical sciences, and math. Students also typically take courses that develop communication and writing skills, because they must learn to write grants effectively and publish research findings.

After students have completed their undergraduate studies, they typically enter Ph.D. programs. Dual-degree programs are available that pair a Ph.D. with a range of specialized medical degrees. A few degree programs that are commonly paired with Ph.D. studies are Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Whereas Ph.D. studies focus on research methods, such as project design and data interpretation, students in dual-degree programs learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.

Graduate programs emphasize both laboratory work and original research. These programs offer prospective medical scientists the opportunity to develop their experiments and, sometimes, to supervise undergraduates. Ph.D. programs culminate in a thesis that the candidate presents before a committee of professors. Students may specialize in a particular field, such as gerontology, neurology, or cancer.

Those who go to medical school spend most of the first 2 years in labs and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and medical law. They also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. They may be required to participate in residency programs, meeting the same requirements that physicians and surgeons have to fulfill.

Medical scientists often continue their education with postdoctoral work. Postdoctoral work provides additional and more independent lab experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, which is transferable to other research projects.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical scientists primarily conduct research and typically do not need licenses or certifications. However, those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or otherwise practice medicine on patients in clinical trials or a private practice need a license to practice as a physician.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions. In addition, medical scientists write grant proposals, because grants often are required to fund their research.

Critical-thinking skills. Medical scientists must use their expertise to determine the best method for solving a specific research question.

Data-analysis skills. Medical scientists use statistical techniques, so that they can properly quantify and analyze health research questions.

Decisionmaking skills. Medical scientists must determine what research questions to ask, how best to investigate the questions, and what data will best answer the questions.

Observation skills. Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or misleading results.

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Director Of Cell Biology Typical Career Paths

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Director Of Cell Biology Demographics

Gender

Male

52.5%

Female

39.9%

Unknown

7.6%
Ethnicity

White

52.4%

Asian

19.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

27.8%

Spanish

22.2%

Italian

16.7%

Swedish

5.6%

Chinese

5.6%

German

5.6%

Carrier

5.6%

Belarusian

5.6%

Shan

5.6%
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Director Of Cell Biology Education

Schools

University of California - Los Angeles

8.2%

University of Connecticut

6.1%

Wayne State University

6.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.1%

Johns Hopkins University

6.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

6.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

6.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.1%

Rush University

4.1%

University of Pennsylvania

4.1%

University of Kentucky

4.1%

Emory University

4.1%

University of California - Santa Barbara

4.1%

Howard University

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

North Carolina Central University

4.1%

Oakland University

4.1%

University of Maryland Medical System

4.1%

University of Virginia

4.1%

Case Western Reserve University

4.1%
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Majors

Biology

24.8%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

17.4%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

13.0%

Microbiology

6.2%

Physiology And Anatomy

5.0%

Chemistry

5.0%

Pharmacology

4.3%

Biotechnology

3.7%

Medicine

3.1%

Neuroscience

3.1%

Genetics

2.5%

Chemical Engineering

1.9%

Pharmacy

1.2%

Biomedical Sciences

1.2%

Nursing

1.2%

Botany

1.2%

Health Care Administration

1.2%

Biostatistics

1.2%

Educational Leadership

1.2%

Electrical Engineering

1.2%
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Degrees

Doctorate

44.4%

Bachelors

22.5%

Masters

19.3%

Other

11.8%

Certificate

1.6%

Diploma

0.5%
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Real Director Of Cell Biology Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Senior Protein & Cell Sciences EMD Serono Research Institute, Inc. Billerica, MA Dec 27, 2010 $210,673
Director, Structural Biology C4 Therapeutics, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jul 25, 2016 $165,000
Director, Single Cell Genomics Core The Jackson Laboratory Farmington, CT Nov 03, 2014 $140,000
Director, Single Cell Genomics Core The Jackson Laboratory Farmington, CT Oct 25, 2014 $140,000
Director of Biology Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Cambridge, MA Mar 05, 2011 $136,000 -
$160,000
Director, HIV Biology Glaxosmithkline LLC Parkton, NC Sep 10, 2015 $126,000 -
$191,050
Director, Stem Cell Biology International Stem Cell Corporation Carlsbad, CA Sep 22, 2012 $125,000
Director of Biology Miragen Therapeutics, Inc. Boulder, CO Oct 01, 2009 $123,469 -
$145,163
Associate Director of Cell Biology and Translation DYAX Corp. Cambridge, MA Sep 18, 2010 $96,678 -
$154,000
Director, Skin Biology Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. Parkton, NC Oct 01, 2015 $96,200 -
$191,050
Director, Skin Biology Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. Parkton, NC Jan 27, 2014 $93,200 -
$191,050
Scientist, IPS Cell Biology Ipierian, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Aug 30, 2009 $83,000
Scientist, IPS Cell Biology Ipierian, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Sep 21, 2009 $83,000
Director of Cell Biology and Research Partnerships Stem Cell Theranostics, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Mar 24, 2014 $82,000
Director of Cell Biology and Research Partnerships Stem Cell Theranostics, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Sep 03, 2014 $82,000
Director of Cell Formation Enerdel, Inc. Indianapolis, IN Sep 25, 2010 $80,000 -
$130,000
Director of Cell Formation Enerdel, Inc. Greenfield, IN Sep 25, 2010 $80,000 -
$130,000
Scientist-Cell Biology Murigenics, Inc. Vallejo, CA Aug 15, 2016 $72,800
Instructor of Cell Biology Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY Jul 01, 2013 $70,000
Scientist III, Cell Biology Life Technologies Corporation Carlsbad, CA Aug 31, 2015 $68,700 -
$114,500

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Top Skills for A Director Of Cell Biology

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  1. Cell Culture
  2. Cellular Mechanisms
  3. Protein
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and implemented stem cell culture, differentiation, engineering and high content imaging analysis robotic automation system.
  • Identify producer cell lines, isolate expressed proteins and characterize prototypes.
  • Used MEGA software to analyze DNA and mRNA for statistical analysis of evolution and phylogeny.
  • Performed laboratory research on novel antibacterials for both Gram-negative and Gram-positive species.
  • Improved molecular biology group dynamics by cultivating a culture of open communication and accountability without blame.

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Top 10 Best States for Directors Of Cell Biology

  1. New Jersey
  2. Connecticut
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. California
  5. Delaware
  6. Maryland
  7. Maine
  8. Nevada
  9. North Carolina
  10. Massachusetts
  • (88 jobs)
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  • (534 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
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