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Molecular and Cellular Biologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Researches and studies cellular molecules and organelles to understand cell function and organization.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Plant Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Maintains accurate laboratory records and data.
  • Designs molecular or cellular laboratory experiments, oversees their execution, and interprets results.
  • Conducts research on cell organization and function, including mechanisms of gene expression, cellular bioinformatics, cell signaling, or cell differentiation.
  • Instructs undergraduate and graduate students within the areas of cellular or molecular biology.
  • Compiles and analyzes molecular or cellular experimental data and adjusts experimental designs as necessary.
  • Prepares reports, manuscripts, and meeting presentations.
  • Supervises technical personnel and postdoctoral research fellows.
  • Directs, coordinates, organizes, or prioritizes biological laboratory activities.
  • Performs laboratory procedures following protocols including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing, cloning and extraction, ribonucleic acid (RNA) purification, or gel electrophoresis.
  • Develops assays that monitor cell characteristics.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Molecular Biology Director --
  • Molecular Biology Professor --