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RESEARCH SCIENTIST IN HIV: Biology Is A Great Career To Get Into

About this video 

Mary Kate, is a Research Scientist in HIV focusing on immunology and virology. . She spends her days designing experiments, working in the lab, writing papers and applying for grants. A stint as a Peace Corp volunteer in Africa at the height of the AIDS epidemic lead her to study HIV. Biology is a great career to get into because infectious diseases are always around.

Degree: Microbiology
Job Title: Reserach Scientist

Job Summary: Microbiologists

Job Description

Microbiologists study the growth, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi. Most microbiologists work in research and development. Many conduct basic research with the aim of increasing scientific knowledge. Others conduct applied research, using knowledge from basic research to develop new products or solve particular problems.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A Ph.D. is needed to carry out independent research and to work in colleges and universities.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$40,000 - $115,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Indoor, Hospital / Clinic
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Problem solving skills, Analytical skills, Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, Technical skills, Strength/stamina, Mathematical skills
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='450'>I</span> <span m='615'>am</span> <span m='780'>a</span> <span m='870'>research</span> <span m='1320'>scientist.</span> <span m='2220'>So</span> <span m='2420'>I</span> <span m='2660'>work</span> <span m='2930'>on</span> <span m='3390'>HIV</span> <span m='4100'>and</span> <span m='4360'>I</span> <span m='4580'>do</span> <span m='4800'>immunology</span> <span m='5720'>and</span> <span m='6050'>virology.</span> <span m='7170'>And</span> <span m='10170'>I</span> <span m='10800'>am</span> <span m='11840'>usually</span> <span m='12390'>in</span> <span m='12570'>the</span> <span m='12720'>lab.</span> <span m='13460'>And</span> <span m='13800'>I</span> <span m='15180'>go</span> <span m='15400'>into</span> <span m='15730'>my</span> <span m='17160'>laboratory</span> <span m='18220'>and</span> <span m='18710'>I</span> <span m='18870'>have</span> <span m='19070'>my</span> <span m='19400'>friends</span> <span m='19780'>that</span> <span m='19920'>I</span> <span m='20020'>work</span> <span m='20270'>with</span> <span m='20460'>there.</span> <span m='20820'>And</span> <span m='20940'>we</span> <span m='21060'>design</span> <span m='21480'>experiments.</span> <span m='22280'>And</span> <span m='23130'>we</span> <span m='23280'>look</span> <span m='23520'>at</span> <span m='23670'>what</span> <span m='23980'>the</span> <span m='24670'>experiments</span> <span m='25320'>are</span> <span m='25480'>for</span> <span m='25680'>the</span> <span m='25900'>week,</span> <span m='26290'>and</span> <span m='26450'>the</span> <span m='26900'>next</span> <span m='27270'>two</span> <span m='27430'>weeks,</span> <span m='27730'>and</span> <span m='27840'>the</span> <span m='27920'>next</span> <span m='28170'>month</span> <span m='28470'>and</span> <span m='28710'>plan</span> <span m='29010'>everything</span> <span m='29370'>out.</span> <span m='29610'>And</span> <span m='29750'>then</span> <span m='30460'>sit</span> <span m='30640'>down</span> <span m='31030'>and</span> <span m='31470'>write</span> <span m='31700'>down</span> <span m='31910'>all</span> <span m='32020'>the</span> <span m='32110'>details</span> <span m='32729'>and</span> <span m='33050'>do</span> <span m='33200'>the</span> <span m='33310'>experiments.</span> </p><p><span m='35340'>And</span> <span m='35690'>I</span> <span m='35780'>spend</span> <span m='36070'>a</span> <span m='36130'>lot</span> <span m='36290'>of</span> <span m='36380'>time</span> <span m='36600'>reading</span> <span m='37180'>papers</span> <span m='37900'>and</span> <span m='38570'>finding</span> <span m='38900'>about</span> <span m='39470'>what</span> <span m='39700'>the</span> <span m='40240'>newest</span> <span m='40690'>research</span> <span m='41170'>is</span> <span m='41390'>in</span> <span m='41490'>my</span> <span m='41720'>area.</span> <span m='42570'>And</span> <span m='42770'>I</span> <span m='42830'>read</span> <span m='43030'>lots</span> <span m='43280'>of</span> <span m='43380'>papers</span> <span m='44230'>so</span> <span m='44380'>that</span> <span m='44540'>I</span> <span m='44590'>can</span> <span m='44790'>figure</span> <span m='45150'>out</span> <span m='45720'>how</span> <span m='45950'>to</span> <span m='46110'>design</span> <span m='46580'>my</span> <span m='46710'>experiments.</span> <span m='47810'>And</span> <span m='48000'>then</span> <span m='48770'>I</span> <span m='48880'>do</span> <span m='49060'>a</span> <span m='49100'>lot</span> <span m='49250'>of</span> <span m='49340'>writing</span> <span m='49750'>because</span> <span m='50130'>we</span> <span m='50240'>need</span> <span m='50460'>to</span> <span m='51180'>publish</span> <span m='51500'>papers</span> <span m='52150'>and</span> <span m='53110'>write</span> <span m='53660'>grants</span> <span m='54100'>so</span> <span m='54220'>that</span> <span m='54380'>we</span> <span m='54550'>can</span> <span m='54730'>get</span> <span m='54910'>money</span> <span m='55200'>to</span> <span m='55300'>do</span> <span m='55400'>our</span> <span m='55750'>research.</span> </p><p><span m='56440'>I</span> <span m='57040'>did</span> <span m='57280'>my</span> <span m='57490'>undergrad</span> <span m='57960'>degree</span> <span m='58350'>at</span> <span m='58480'>UC</span> <span m='58790'>Santa</span> <span m='59020'>Barbara</span> <span m='59510'>in</span> <span m='59880'>cell</span> <span m='60200'>physiology.</span> <span m='61370'>And</span> <span m='61590'>then</span> <span m='62240'>I</span> <span m='62340'>went</span> <span m='62530'>into</span> <span m='62690'>the</span> <span m='62760'>Peace</span> <span m='63160'>Corps</span> <span m='64019'>in</span> <span m='64220'>Africa,</span> <span m='64629'>in</span> <span m='64739'>the</span> <span m='64810'>Central</span> <span m='65160'>African</span> <span m='65450'>Republic.</span> <span m='66470'>And</span> <span m='66860'>it</span> <span m='66960'>was</span> <span m='67170'>in</span> <span m='67260'>the</span> <span m='67330'>middle</span> <span m='67730'>of</span> <span m='67910'>the</span> <span m='68210'>1980s</span> <span m='69000'>when</span> <span m='69260'>the</span> <span m='69440'>AIDS</span> <span m='69670'>epidemic</span> <span m='70170'>was</span> <span m='70655'>just</span> <span m='71140'>scary</span> <span m='72010'>and</span> <span m='72200'>taking</span> <span m='72590'>off.</span> </p><p><span m='72880'>And</span> <span m='73500'>it</span> <span m='73710'>was</span> <span m='74290'>supposedly</span> <span m='75170'>where</span> <span m='75760'>HIV</span> <span m='76230'>started.</span> <span m='76730'>It</span> <span m='76850'>really</span> <span m='77070'>was.</span> <span m='77610'>And</span> <span m='77720'>it</span> <span m='77800'>turns</span> <span m='78070'>out</span> <span m='78210'>that's</span> <span m='78470'>true</span> <span m='79150'>from</span> <span m='79300'>the</span> <span m='79400'>research</span> <span m='79860'>now</span> <span m='80070'>that</span> <span m='80220'>we</span> <span m='80330'>know.</span> <span m='80980'>HIV</span> <span m='81390'>started</span> <span m='81790'>very</span> <span m='82010'>close</span> <span m='82240'>to</span> <span m='82400'>where</span> <span m='82610'>I</span> <span m='82670'>was</span> <span m='83140'>in</span> <span m='83310'>the</span> <span m='83440'>Peace</span> <span m='83640'>Corps.</span> </p><p><span m='84330'>And</span> <span m='84580'>I</span> <span m='84660'>started</span> <span m='84990'>working</span> <span m='85380'>on</span> <span m='85490'>HIV</span> <span m='85910'>then.</span> <span m='86370'>And</span> <span m='86770'>when</span> <span m='86910'>I</span> <span m='86980'>came</span> <span m='87250'>back</span> <span m='88190'>to</span> <span m='88320'>the</span> <span m='88420'>United</span> <span m='88780'>States,</span> <span m='89240'>I</span> <span m='89840'>worked</span> <span m='90230'>on</span> <span m='90470'>HIV</span> <span m='91850'>at</span> <span m='92280'>a</span> <span m='92407'>lab</span> <span m='92535'>at</span> <span m='92790'>UCSF</span> <span m='93670'>and</span> <span m='93880'>then</span> <span m='94080'>at</span> <span m='94260'>the</span> <span m='94440'>California</span> <span m='94970'>Department</span> <span m='95370'>of</span> <span m='95440'>Public</span> <span m='95770'>Health.</span> <span m='96520'>And</span> <span m='96670'>I</span> <span m='96720'>got</span> <span m='96910'>my</span> <span m='97000'>master's</span> <span m='97610'>degree</span> <span m='98120'>in</span> <span m='98270'>public</span> <span m='98570'>health</span> <span m='98840'>and</span> <span m='98980'>a</span> <span m='99040'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='99730'>in</span> <span m='99910'>microbiology,</span> <span m='100960'>virology.</span> </p><p><span m='101890'>It's</span> <span m='102780'>pretty</span> <span m='103150'>flexible.</span> <span m='104100'>And</span> <span m='104880'>there</span> <span m='105180'>are</span> <span m='105280'>a</span> <span m='105340'>lot</span> <span m='105550'>of</span> <span m='105840'>jobs</span> <span m='106320'>in</span> <span m='106460'>it.</span> <span m='107520'>So,</span> <span m='108040'>for</span> <span m='108150'>example,</span> <span m='110190'>when</span> <span m='110600'>I</span> <span m='110680'>was</span> <span m='110840'>in</span> <span m='110970'>college</span> <span m='111830'>my</span> <span m='112040'>dad</span> <span m='112370'>wanted</span> <span m='112710'>me</span> <span m='113280'>to</span> <span m='113410'>be</span> <span m='114230'>either</span> <span m='114760'>physics,</span> <span m='115270'>math,</span> <span m='115590'>or</span> <span m='115790'>chemistry.</span> <span m='116960'>And</span> <span m='117080'>I</span> <span m='117170'>started</span> <span m='117640'>out</span> <span m='117770'>in</span> <span m='117890'>chemistry</span> <span m='118900'>and</span> <span m='119070'>then</span> <span m='119470'>I</span> <span m='119600'>switched</span> <span m='119835'>to</span> <span m='120070'>biochemistry.</span> <span m='121250'>And</span> <span m='121470'>then</span> <span m='121830'>I</span> <span m='121970'>switched</span> <span m='122290'>to</span> <span m='122380'>biology.</span> </p><p><span m='123330'>And</span> <span m='123530'>my</span> <span m='123670'>dad</span> <span m='124030'>thought,</span> <span m='124360'>oh,</span> <span m='124910'>you'll</span> <span m='125100'>never</span> <span m='125370'>get</span> <span m='125560'>a</span> <span m='125650'>job.</span> <span m='126430'>But</span> <span m='126580'>it</span> <span m='126710'>turned</span> <span m='126990'>out</span> <span m='127330'>this</span> <span m='128080'>is</span> <span m='128289'>the</span> <span m='128380'>century</span> <span m='129050'>of</span> <span m='129120'>biology.</span> <span m='129910'>And</span> <span m='130169'>so</span> <span m='130889'>it</span> <span m='131139'>is</span> <span m='131390'>a</span> <span m='131560'>great</span> <span m='132210'>career</span> <span m='132560'>to</span> <span m='132620'>get</span> <span m='132810'>into,</span> <span m='133120'>biotechnology,</span> <span m='134080'>biology,</span> <span m='134880'>bioinformatics.</span> <span m='136550'>And</span> <span m='136900'>infectious</span> <span m='137460'>diseases</span> <span m='138210'>always</span> <span m='139490'>come</span> <span m='140260'>and</span> <span m='140450'>hit</span> <span m='140560'>us.</span> <span m='141010'>So</span> <span m='141960'>it's</span> <span m='142040'>always</span> <span m='142350'>interesting.</span> </p>","file":{"id":331589,"video_id":"2995713767001","name":"1721-MaryKate-P-HIVResearcher","duration":143384,"thumbnail_url":null}});