A Career as a Virologist
- November 24, 2023
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Careers
Developing a vaccine or a treatment is a painstakingly slow and detailed endeavor. Finding a compound that works, testing it in animals, and then rolling it out to clinical trials in humans can take years. But this pandemic is pushing the researchers, better known as virologists, to work around the clock and develop a vaccine as soon as possible.
What Does A Virologist Do?
They are medical professionals who seek to understand viruses such as Coronavirus, Zika, Ebola, AIDS, and so on.
As a virologist, they’ll be expected to learn about –
– How viruses spread
– How to isolate these viruses
– How to diagnose, treat and prevent infections
– They are also responsible for investigating the pharmacological response of viruses to antiviral drugs and the evolution of drug resistance
These ‘disease detectives’ spend most of their time in microbiology or virology laboratories with powerful microscopes. They study the microscopic organisms or viruses that cause these and other diseases in hopes of finding vaccines.
Virologists typically work in research or teaching, and many split their time between these two activities. They may also work as science writers or pursue additional training to work in the pharmaceutical business or law.
How Do I Become A Virologist?
1. Virology is a subdivision of Biology, so, you will need to choose Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in 10+2
2. You can then graduate in Microbiology, Biomedical Sciences or Biotechnology
3. You can even apply for MBBS. This field requires at least a master’s degree in Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Immunology or Virology
4. Master’s level programs include coursework, lab study, and research
5. A doctorate degree in Microbiology (specializing in Infectious Diseases) is needed for independent research and for advancement to administrative positions
What Key Skills Do I Need?
– An inquisitive nature and a concern for accuracy
– Strong analytical skills
– Keen observation skills
– An eye for detail
– Logical bent of mind
– Ability to work under high pressure
What Is The Starting Salary Of A Virologist?
In research institutions, fresh post-graduates start with Rs 10 lakhs per annum. The starting salary of someone with a doctorate is usually higher.
Excerpts from The Teenager Today – Articles by Dr. Vibha Gupta