Article written by CEMP's team
What is molecular biology? What are its main applications today? If you’re looking for answers to these questions, we’ve got you covered: keep reading to find out all the details about this exciting profession.
According to the United States’ National Cancer Institute, molecular biology is a ‘branch of medicine that develops methods of diagnosis and treatment of disease by understanding the functioning of genes, proteins, and other cellular molecules.’
Thus, molecular biology has a large field of practical applications. This includes, for example, the investigation of the mechanisms that lead to the development of diseases such as cancer (where certain genes, molecules or cellular functions stop behaving according to their normal processes), as well as many other pathologies.
Thus, in cancer research, biomolecular medicine presents a prominent role in issues such as:
In addition to the oncological field, biomolecular medicine can be applied in the diagnosis and treatment phases of a large number of diseases. Among others, it’s possible to cite here various genetic pathologies, infectious diseases (such as HIV), cardiovascular issues and many of the so-called ‘rare diseases.’
The biomolecular medicine career presents a wide range of work opportunities in different areas:
In order to work in the field of biomolecular medicine, the most adequate option involves a degree in medicine or biomedical sciences which, later, is complemented through a specialized master’s or postgraduate degree.
With regard to undergraduate studies, recent years have seen a surge in degrees targeting biomedicine or biomedical sciences, which are completing the more classic approach of medicine degrees. As a general rule, these new degrees are completed within four academic years (240 ECTS credits), as opposed to the six years required to obtain a degree in medicine.
In addition to this, it’s also necessary to mention the degrees in biomedical engineering and bioinformatics, which are also closely linked to this professional sector.
The study plan for a typical degree in biomedical sciences includes subjects such as:
Moving on to postgraduate studies, the most common options involve master’s degrees in biomolecular medicine and other similar options, as well as other postgraduate courses that may not be officially designed as master’s degrees.
As a general rule, these studies take a full academic year to complete and have a study load of 60 ECTS credits.
In order to get an idea of the content for this type of studies, here’s a brief review of the study program of our Master’s in Molecular Biology:
Module 1: Safety standards in the laboratory
Module 2: Bioinformatics applied to Molecular Biology
Module 3: Technologies for the analysis and manipulation of proteins
Module 4: Genetics and Molecular Biology
Module 5: Carbohydrates and Lipids. Advances in biomedicine
Module 6: Molecular bases of proliferation, differentiation and cell death
Module 7: Stem Cell Research and Therapies
Now that you know the answer to ‘what is molecular biology’ and what the main job opportunities look like in the field, are you interested in improving your training and thus increasing your employment options? You could be part of an exciting field where a hugely fulfilling career might ensue.
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