Step by step guide to becoming a biophysicist

Biology studies life in its variety and complexity. It describes how organisms go about getting food, communicating, sensing the environment, and reproducing. On the other hand, physics looks for mathematical laws of nature and makes detailed predictions about the forces that drive idealized systems. Spanning the distance between the complexity of life and the simplicity of physical laws is the challenge of biophysics. Looking for the patterns in life and analyzing them with math and physics is a powerful way to gain insights.

Biophysics looks for principles that describe patterns. If the principles are powerful, they make detailed predictions that can be tested.

What does a biophysicist do?

A biochemist or biophysicists conducts research in order to analyze the complex chemical combinations and/or reactions that happen in growth, reproduction, metabolism and heredity. One might also study the consequences of serums, hormones, food and other substances, like, food and living organisms and their vital processes.

A biochemist conduct studies to further understand the physical principles of organisms or living cells and their mechanical and electrical energy by the application of chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics. They determine the effects of body functions by analyzing, isolating or synthesize enzymes or minerals, hormones, vitamins and allergens. They also analyze mutations in organisms that might lead to disease and find new ways to study the mechanisms of biological processes. They observe the chemistry of living processes, like breathing, digestion and cell development and study living energy changes in aging, death and growth.

A biochemist or biophysicist might oversee the quality of work in laboratories or work of a team. They may be involved in teaching undergraduate or graduate students and their supervision. They give recommendations and write reports on their research findings and also share this information by making presentations or writing articles. In this occupation, a knowledge of physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry and electronics and computers is needed.

A skill-set of reading comprehension, listening, writing and speaking is necessary along with other abilities, like, fluency of ideas, inductive and deductive reasoning. A biochemist or biophysicist would need to think creatively, analyze data and process information. They need to remain current technically and use new knowledge in the workplace. They need to make decisions and solve problems and have a variety of other skills and abilities.

What kind of skills are required?

  1. Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  2. Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  3. Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  4. Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  5. Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  6. Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  7. Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  8. Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  9. Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

The steps to becoming a biophsycist

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Complete an internship
  3. Complete a Master’s Degree
  4. Pursue Doctoral Studies
  5. Obtain a job
  6. Advance your career