Biochemists study the chemistry of living systems to increase scientific knowledge and develop ways to apply this knowledge in areas such as medicine, veterinary science, agriculture, environmental science and manufacturing. Biochemistry provides a basis for all the life sciences.

Duties & Tasks

Biochemists may perform the following tasks:

  • study the chemical processes that occur within individual cells
  • study processes that involve whole organisms, such as digestion and growth
  • undertake detailed chemical analysis using sophisticated instruments and techniques
  • prepare, or supervise the preparation of, scientific reports and papers for journals based on observations and experiments.


Clinical Biochemist

A clinical biochemist works in hospital laboratories where they study the chemical composition of various tissues and bodily fluids to assist in the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Industrial Biochemist

An industrial biochemist works in laboratories in analytical and research work, such as checking the purity of food and beverages, or the enzymic production of fuels from waste products through fermentation procedures.

Research Biochemist

A research biochemist works in laboratories in universities, biotechnology companies, and agricultural, medical and veterinary institutes. They study areas such as the metabolism, growth and reproduction of fungi, bacteria, plants and animals, as well as the organisation of viruses. They frequently use the latest genetic engineering and molecular-biological techniques.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy chemistry, biology and mathematics
  • able to think logically and analytically
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • creative and imaginative.

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