In Summary - Biomedical Scientist
A scientist who specialises in the investigation and research of the science of disease.
Biomedical Scientists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Biomedical Scientist
A biomedical scientist is a scientist whose key role is in the investigation and research of the biology and molecular mechanisms of disease.
Biomedical Science is a diverse and exciting field of research in which the scientist may be involved in discovery of novel causes or therapies for disease.
Biomedical scientists generally work in universities or research laboratories where they may study any form of disease, both in animals and humans, in order to discover new information on how to prevent, detect or treat disease.
Typical laboratory work might include evaluation of the effect of chemical and therapeutic agents on cancer cells or animal tissues using fluorescent imaging, protein biomarker analysis by staining, electrophoresis or immunoassays.
Identification of novel microorganisms and genetic factors causing diseases is a major and rapidly developing field of biomedical research.
Research into disease is conducted in multiple laboratories in Ireland, including the agricultural, fisheries and equine sectors, along with multiple pharmaceutical and research laboratories whose focus is human disease.
A major focus of biomedical science research is in the field of cancer research, where significant breakthroughs in identification of molecular (genetic) alterations in cancer cells has resulted in the development of highly successful targeted therapies, resulting in improved survival for many cancers. Numerous biomedical scientists in research laboratories in Ireland are involved in studies relating to clinical trials, in which new therapies are being evaluated in disease.
Biomedical scientists often specialise in one field of disease research, and may become experts in many fields such as genetic s, stem cell research, pharmaceuticals, biostatistics, nutritional or environmental disease research.
Interests - Biomedical Scientist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
All biomedical scientists require a good knowledge of the science underlying disease, so they need a good background in human function, physiology, biology and the molecular mechanisms by which diseases develop.
Performing and analysing laboratory experiments requires a focused, methodical application of scientific methods, with careful attention to each step in the procedures and protocols.
Biomedical scientists may be involved in the handling and analysis of a wide range of biological specimens, and will use many types of analytical reagents and specialised equipment for their studies.
Entry Requirements - Biomedical Scientist
Any scientist with a degree in Biomedical or Medical Science or Biomedical Engineering can work as a biomedical scientist. Courses are available at IoTs (DIT; IT Sligo) and universities countrywide.
Graduates with degrees in Genetics, Immunology, Biochemistry and Microbiology also work in biomedical research.
Please note that in the UK the title of Biomedical Scientist is reserved for registered scientists who work in the diagnostic pathology laboratories in the health services. In Ireland, Biomedical Scientists are scientists who work in disease research, and Medical Scientists work in the health services.
Candidates should examine individual course information for full details of course content and entry requirements.
Last Updated: October, 2017
Pay & Salary - Biomedical Scientist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 22k - 50k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Biomedical Scientist
While the supply of graduates appears to be sufficient to meet the annual recruitment requirement (5,500 graduates in 2017), the demand is arising for roles for those with a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Biomedical Scientist
Institute of Biomedical Science
Tyndall National Institute
Irish Medical Devices Association
Irish Society of Clinical Microbiologists (ISCM)