Cell Biologist

A person whose focus of study is cell biology will find a variety of career opportunities available. These include jobs in education: individuals who are teachers, professors, or researchers. Cell biologists will also find opportunities in the healthcare industry, possibly working for hospitals or healthcare providers. In the area of public service, careers might involve working on initiatives that affect public policy, for example, tracking data on the incidence of AIDS or diabetes or communicating information to the public. Private industry also offers many opportunities, including companies that develop and market pharmaceuticals or medical diagnostic equipment and the financial institutions that invest in such companies.

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Cell Biologist in Action


Dr. Gail Martin

Title: Professor, Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco

Education: Ph. D., Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley

In 1974 Dr. Gail Martin was working at the University College in London when she made a huge advance. She developed a way to grow stem cells in a petri dish. These fragile cells were hard to work with, so Dr. Martin’s breakthrough removed a big obstacle to stem cell research. Seven years later, she made another key discovery while working in her own laboratory at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) in her native United Stateshow to harvest stem cells from mouse embryos. Her work has helped other scientists develop ways to harvest stem cells from human embryos and explore their use in treating disorders.

Dr. Martin likes to point out that her work shows how small advances in basic biology can pay off years later in unexpected ways. She states that many people focus on cures for specific diseases, not realizing that these cures “may come from basic research in seemingly unrelated areas. What is really going to be important 20 years from now isn’t clear.”

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