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Microbiology

(Medical Sciences)

Career Information

The Micro-world of Career Opportunities

 

Microbiology studies microscopic living organisms like bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi protozoa, which remain invisible to the naked eye but create the foundation of all organic beings.  Humans, fruits, rocks, in fact the entire Earth is what it is today because of these invisible citizens of the earth.

In fact, each of us is a walking ecosystem. At any given point in time, we share our bodies harmoniously with the 90 trillion or so microbes! This is much more than number of humans on the entire planet.

Microbiology

Microbiological research is the basic research which can be categorized into various fields like cell biology, ecology, evolution, physiology, biochemistry and clinical aspects of  microorganisms, including the host response to these agents. It impacts various industries, ranging from biopharmaceuticals, pharmacy, food and beverages, environment and crop health. Researchers are constantly engaged in researching how they can control these tiny entities into creating bigger impacts in our lives, the most famous incident being the creation on Penicillin. In the recent times biofuels, an alternative to fossil fuel are manufactured with help of biomass material like lignocellulosics, algae, etc. to replace fossil fuels.

The aim of a microbiologist is to understand and answer many global problems by looking into the core of all organic beings – the microorganism.  

Education

A microbiology aspirant needs to have successfully completed his/ her 10+2 with science with Biology or Mathematics as one of their subjects for the under graduate courses. The aspiring students of microbiology need to possess a few basic skill and understanding before they enter the study or field. Their understanding of the basics and applied understanding of microbiology must be very strong, especially the skills in laboratory techniques.

Microbio career path

Colleges in India

Loyola College, Chennai

www.loyolacollege.edu

 St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi

www.ststephens.edu

St. Xavier's College, Kolkata

www.sxccal.edu

St. Xavier's College, Mumbai

www.xaviers.edu

Presidency College, Chennai 

www.presiuniv.ac.in

Madras Christian College, Chennai

www.mcc.edu.in

Stella Maris College, Chennai

www.stellamariscollege.org

Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences (SIHS), Pune

www.sihspune.org

School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

www.jnu.ac.in

Fergusson College, Pune

www.fergusson.edu

St Joseph's College, Calicut

www.devagiricollege.org

The Oxford College of Science, Bangalore

www.theoxford.edu

These are the leading colleges in India that present a B.Sc degree in Microbiology or Life Science with microbiology as a specialization. Investment for the three year course varies vastly – Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 2 lakh. Ironically, the top three colleges are actually the least expensive ones.

The course work will be expansive since microorganisms can be studied from different contexts at the undergraduate and graduate level studies. The courses will give you insights into fields like bacterial genetics and physiology, inorganic and organic chemistry, immunology, analytical chemistry, genetics etc.  Microbiology studies, however requires extensive lab work requiring hours of peering into cultures and conducting independent researches, especially at masters and PhD levels. You need to decide what elective you want to take after due consideration to your interests and end goals too.

Colleges abroad

Imperial College London, UK

www.imperial.ac.uk

University of Chicago, US

www.uchicago.in

Yale University, US

www.yale.edu

University of California, Berkeley US

www.berkeley.edu                                                      

University College London, UK

www.ucl.ac.uk

Columbia University, US

www.columbia.edu

University of California, Los Angeles, US

www.ucla.edu

University of Pennsylvania, US

www.upenn.edu

Cornell University, US

www.cornell.edu

Duke University, US

https://duke.edu

University of Edinburgh

www.ed.ac.uk

National University of Singapore (NUS)

www.nus.edu.sg

Scope of microbio

Career

A microbiologist can find various job openings, depending on his specialization like dairy microbiology, veterinary and agricultural microbiology, applied microbiology, microbial biotechnology, medical microbiology, bacteriology, virology, immunology, etc

Job that can you do after your microbiology degree:

  • Clinical research associate
  • Food - technologist
  • Micro- biologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research scientist in life sciences
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Technical brewer

According to payscale.com an average salary of a microbiologist is around 2.5 lakh an annum and the highest is approximately 7 lakh an annum. In India there are various reasons for the less development in this area like the lack of infrastructure, funding and limited knowledge.

Microbiologists in healthcare

Microbiology is an important area of study which helps us in finding various ways of treating diseases. While microorganisms like viruses cause flu, chickenpox and bacteria causes tuberculosis; there are also microorganisms which are good and help fighting diseases back. Clinical microbiologists look into the secret life of microorganisms, see how they work and find a cure. A few clinical microbiologists work in hospitals; they carry out research and give scientific advice to medical staff on their existing patients and further treatments. There are other microbiologists who work extensively on creating cures – they study microorganism behavior and develop vaccines which combat them and also create new cures which arrest their spread.

Environment and climate change

Unknown to many, microorganisms also contribute to producing many gases on Earth and play an important part bringing balance in the atmosphere. On one hand they are responsible for producing the most methane on Earth, which is in turn, is a biofuel. While on the other, they bring balance to the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle, important for the planet.

Microorganisms live side by side with other living creatures from deserts to the glaciers and are known to adapt to almost any climates. Studying colonies of microorganisms also help microbiologists and climate scientists in determining the early warning signs of climate change in regions. There were several instances where microorganisms have helped clean oil spills, treat industrial waste and create balance in the climate.

Microbio

Food security and Agriculture

Microorganisms play a very essential role in food and digestion. Most of us know that food items like curd, bread, cheese but did you know that they are also important for chocolate, vinegar, mushrooms and beer! Food factories and farms are also home to many microorganisms that can prove fatal like E-Coli, Listeria and Salmonella.

Microbiologists are constantly engaged with many food industries to investigate food and produce and make sure about the safety standards. They investigate and prevent outbreaks in the factory area that would otherwise be a hot-bed for cultures to grow.

Microorganisms also play a vital role in agriculture. They are present in the soil and create many important nutrients like nitrogen which are essential to the plants. With agriculture being severely affected by shrinking lands and increasing pollution and erosion, microbiologists scale the lengths and breaths of the world to find answers from these little creatures to save our food. On the flip side, there are quite a few who would spell havoc for the crops. 

 

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