A Geneticist is someone who specializes in the science of genetics. This is a branch of biology that deals with the
characteristics of different organisms, the development of such characteristics, and how these characteristics are
passed on to their progeny. A geneticist will evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients with hereditary conditions or
congenital malformations, and will also refer patients to other medical specialties.
Geneticists treat and counsel patients with hereditary conditions, develop pharmaceutical and agricultural products
and research inherited diseases. Geneticists study the genetic properties that contribute to an organism’s makeup,
whether the organism is a food crop or a human. Geneticists typically find employment in law enforcement,
agriculture or medicine, working for pharmaceutical companies, universities or government agencies. Normally,
geneticists are divided into two categories: laboratory geneticist and genetic counselor. Geneticists study how
different life forms vary and how these variations are passed on to succeeding generations. This requires them to
conduct experiments in order to determine the origin, mechanisms, and governing laws of particular inherited traits.
Geneticists also seek out determinants (such as disease resistance, size, and color differences) responsible for certain
traits. They do this through careful analysis in order to gain understanding of the various relationships between
heredity and factors like fertility and maturity. Depending on where they work, geneticists might then develop
methods to modify or generate new traits through the use of chemicals, radiation, or other means, or to use what
they learn in genetic counselling, in managing a hereditary disease, or in teaching a new crop of future geneticists.
There are several branches of genetics that a person can choose to go into; each offers its own unique challenges
and interesting subjects. Some geneticists go into agriculture in order to increase crop yield and learn about the
resistance to various diseases that commonly affect valuable crops. Biomedicine applies a knowledge of genetics and
genetic origin of some diseases in order to create medicines that target the causes of these diseases and disorders.
They may also seek to treat genetic disorders that some people experience from birth, such as sickle-cell anemia.
Geneticists can work in many different fields, doing a variety of jobs. There are many careers for geneticists in
medicine, agriculture, wildlife, general sciences, or many other fields. Workplace depends on the type of work being
done; most research geneticists work in the laboratory of a research facility. On rare occasions, some may go to the
field to extract samples, however, this is usually done for them by others. Medical geneticists work in hospitals,
medical research facilities, or biotechnological research companies. Their research work may require them to work
in these places in order to link medical practice with medical research on genetics and heredity. The laboratory of a
medical or biotechnological research facility is a very clean and sterile environment, and is filled with the latest
technological advances in analyzing an organism’s genome. Professors teach at various learning institutions.
Entry Level Education
- Bachelor's; Doctorate may be required for academic research positions in Biology, Biotechnology,
Microbiology, Human Genetics or related field.
- Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Genetics, Applied Genetics, Biomedical Genetics, Animal Genetics & Breeding,
Molecular Biology and Genetics.