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Immunology is essentially the study of cells, organs, and other body mechanisms designed to ward off infections. Different types of immunology jobs include microbiologist, medical scientist, and clinical labs technologist. Microbiologists study organisms in an effort to gain insight into the life processes that treat disease. Medical scientists study diseases and use the knowledge gained in order to develop medication and treatments that cure ailments. Clinical lab technologists collect and test organic samples needed to advance the research conducted by microbiologists and medical scientists.
Microbiology is a subcategory of the medical field known as biological science. The typical microbiologist has at least a bachelor’s degree in biology or another life science field. There are two types of immunology research: basic and applied. Basic research seeks to simply expand on the knowledge and uses of immunology already in existence. Most immunology jobs in basic research are found in the government or university sector. These jobs typically require microbiologists to submit grant proposals in order to gain funding.
Immunology jobs in applied microbiology involve microbiologists conducting research designed to solve a particular problem. Jobs of this nature are typically found in the private sector, usually with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. Although microbiologists in this field may not have to actively solicit funding, they still have to describe their research plans and have their proposals approved by members of management who may control their budget.
Medical scientists conduct work similar to that of microbiology. Immunology jobs in medical science involve studying organic materials in order to gain insight into the origin of diseases and how they can be prevented. Unlike microbiologists, medical scientists are usually licensed physicians. This allows them to work directly with patients and collect samples of biological materials by drawing blood or engaging in other invasive procedures. Doctors in this field can use the data gleaned from such samples in order to develop medications or vaccines.
Immunology jobs as clinical lab technologists involve reviewing and processing fluids, tissues, and cells collected in the study of immunology. Technologists analyze the content of such samples for a variety of purposes. For example, personnel working these types of immunology jobs may examine blood to see how the viruses present react to the introduction of a possible vaccine. They may also prepare samples for examination by microbiologists or medical scientists. The minimum requirements for working these types of immunology jobs are a high school diploma; most training is conducted on the job under the supervision of more experienced personnel.
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