Microbiology is the scientific study of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. Since it is such a broad science, there are several different types of microbiology careers. Scientists frequently specialize in the type of organisms they study and the industries in which they work. Microbiology careers are available in a number of different settings, such as universities, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology laboratories, and medical research hospitals.
Many microbiologists research specific types of microbes. A bacteriologist, for example, studies different types of bacteria to learn about their life cycles, structures, and functions. They may experiment with different types of antimicrobial solutions to eradicate harmful bacteria from samples. Virologists research the nature of viruses and how different strains develop. Mycologists focus on fungi, and protozoologists study algae and other protists.
Microbiology careers in all areas of specialization are found in several different work environments. Many microbiologists are employed by universities, where they may lead research teams in laboratories and teach advanced science courses. University microbiologists train new generations of researchers, supplying the tools and techniques they will use in their future microbiology careers.
Several microbiology careers are available in research and development institutions. Microbiologists employed by pharmaceutical companies typically work in teams develop affective medicines against various diseases. They may spend months or even years researching a specific virus or disease and the treatments which have been prescribed in the past. A team experiments with cultures and tissue samples to determine the effectiveness of new medications in fighting the malady. Once a medicine shows promise, microbiologists may suggest a clinical trial on animals or humans in order to confirm laboratory results.
The biotechnology industry employs microbiologists to determine how microscopic organisms can be helpful to society. Some microbiologists work in food science labs, studying preservatives, potentially helpful probiotics, and harmful pathogens found in food. Medical microbiologists might work in hospitals or medical laboratories, studying and diagnosing various bacterial and viral diseases. They are often trained physicians who actively engage in the treatment of such microbial diseases. Medical microbiologists are essential to advancement of microbial immunology, the study of the body's immune system and microorganisms which help and harm it.
Other microbiologists might engage in environmental science studies, researching soil, air, water, and living samples to determine how certain microbes thrive under different circumstances. Cellular microbiologists study the function and composition of microbes at their most basic level, and apply their findings to agricultural, food, and medical studies. Regardless of the discipline or industry, microbiologists are essential to keeping people healthy and unraveling the mysteries of a tiny world.