Research Scientist 2
Daniel J. SchneiderTell us about your work---what do you do? I am a research scientist employed by a biotechnology company developing diagnostic chips for early detection of disease. What skills are needed? Research scientists are generally organized, analytical thinkers who are self-motivated, careful, detail-oriented workers. Good verbal and written communication skills are also necessary. What was your major? B.S. Biochemistry Ph.D. Molecular Biology How did you get started in your career? My interest in research science began in high school with a science teacher who encouraged me to perform an independent research project with a local biotech company. At his recommendation, I chose to attend a research-oriented university where I had the opportunity to perform an undergraduate research project in a university laboratory . It was there that I realized a graduate degree was necessary to bring me to the career level I wanted to achieve. My Ph.D. thesis project involved developing a novel technology with diagnostic and therapeutic potential. My thesis advisor started a biotechnology company exploiting the technology and offered me a position after graduation. What experience do you need in this job? 2-5 years of experience in an academic or industry research lab Describe your "typical" workday: Review results of experiments performed the day before Design experiments to be performed and discuss with coworkers Perform experiments and record results in notebook Read article(s) in scientific journals to keep up with latest discoveries What is the hardest aspect of your job? Research often takes months, or even years for a significant discovery. Maintaining a positive attitude and high level of motivation when results are disappointing is difficult, but necessary to be successful in this profession. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Applying new technologies and products I helped develop to improve individuals' health and quality of life. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? The best way to decide if research science is a profession you wish to pursue is to get experience as early as possible. Choose a research-oriented university with opportunities for undergraduates to join a research group and get hands-on experience in a real laboratory.