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Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

What do molecular biologists do?

Molecular biology is not a narrow road, but an exciting and versatile discipline that can open doors in many different directions.

Student looking in a microscope
Photo:
Eivind Senneset

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The technology within molecular biology is also fast evolving, and if you see yourself working within advanced technology, molecular biology is a good field to be in. The use of molecular biology in society is increasing, and using DNA analysis in criminal cases has become routine.

Many molecular biologists work within research and teaching – at universities and collages, or at big hospitals. At the same places, many engineers and technicians are also molecular biologists. 

Food and marine research companies, the oil and the cosmetics industry alike all need molecular biology. Biotechnology companies use living organisms to produce useful products, such as antibiotics, and pharmaceutical companies which produce medicines or equipment for diagnosis or treatment or diseases are also important employers of molecular biologists.

A degree in molecular biology provides a solid base for scientific and critical thinking. It also provides you with skills in planning, implementation and documentation of experiments. Molecular biologists thus get valuable competence within research based problem-solving and are sought after as consultants and advisors in the private and public sector alike. 

 

Where are they now?

The following are examples of places our previous students work:

  • Research assistants and engineers at different research institutions, universities and university hospitals
  • PhD candidates at universities and university hospitals, nationally and internationally
  • Research within medical genetics, endocrinology, virology, immunology, cancer, diabetes, neurological diseases, developmental genetics and fundamental molecular research at all big hospitals, all Norwegian universities, the Institute for Marine Research, International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology (SARS), National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) amongst others. 

Others work in the private sector or with other tasks than research, for example:

  • Product developer within medical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical or the cosmetic industry
  • Teacher of biology, chemistry and/or general sciences in upper secondary schools
  • Health, safety and environment (HSE) coordinators in the oil industry
  • Sales persons for chemical- and pharmaceutical companies
  • Advisors at the environmental department at the County Governor of Hordaland
  • Various positions in the oil industry: Statoil, Halliburton, Nalco, VisuRay AS, and other subcontractors