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Biology Should I major in Biology or Biochem or both if I want to become a Cryobiologist?

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  1. Jul 19, 2011 #1
    I am currently a college student and am very interested in becoming a cryobiologist someday. Particularly, I would like to work on organ preservation or something similar. I just have a few questions regarding what path I should take to get there. Any advice by scientists working in this field would be greatly appreciated.

    1) I am having trouble deciding between a major in biology or biochemistry. I am contemplating on whether to pursue a double major in biology/biochemistry. I know both fields pertain to cryobiology. What exactly do biochemists in this field do? What do biologists do?
    2) Unfortunately, there are no cryobiology labs where I live. Until I can get to a lab that centers more around cryobiology, what kind of research and/or lab experience would you suggest I take a look at?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2011 #2
    I am currently a college student and am very interested in becoming a cryobiologist someday. Particularly, I would like to work on organ preservation or something similar. I just have a few questions regarding what path I should take to get there. Any advice by scientists working in this field would be greatly appreciated.

    1) I am having trouble deciding between a major in biology or biochemistry. I am contemplating on whether to pursue a double major in biology/biochemistry. I know both fields pertain to cryobiology. What exactly do biochemists in this field do? What do biologists do?
    2) Unfortunately, there are no cryobiology labs where I live. Until I can get to a lab that centers more around cryobiology, what kind of research and/or lab experience would you suggest I take a look at?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  4. Jul 20, 2011 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    That's a difficult question. I'm English so my university experience was different (no majors just one degree) but I'll try to answer with the best advice possible. I did straight biology, however these days a huge component of biology is biochemistry. By the last year of my degree I couldn't tell what modules I was doing were biology and what modules were biochem.

    When it comes to cryobiology there are important biochemical processes that one should understand (the effect on proteins, lipid membranes, DNA etc) however you could also cover this in a biology course. Any biologist who works with cell culture is going to have to cover some basic cryobiology which involves creating appropriate freezing media, knowing what speed to freeze at etc.

    I would suggest that what you do is ask at the universities you are interested in about the courses. If the biology course has a lot of focus on biochemistry cross over and cell biology it would be very useful for you. Don't be afraid to raise this question with the professors at the places you are applying to about cryobiology.
     
  5. Jul 20, 2011 #4
    Thanks for the very useful information. It is much appreciated. BTW I think your degree in nanotechnology and regenerative medicine is totally badass. :)

    Do you have any advice on looking for research opportunities as a college student?
     
  6. Jul 20, 2011 #5
    You've double posted this question in this forum and in the Career Guidance forum which is against PF rules.
     
  7. Jul 20, 2011 #6
    You've posted this question in both this forum and in the Biology forum which is a violation of PF rules.
     
  8. Jul 20, 2011 #7
    Hey sorry about that. Can I delete this thread and leave the other one open? The only reason I posted it twice is because there are not many cryobiologists out there and I thought I would reach more people if I posted in both forums. It won't happen again.
     
  9. Jul 20, 2011 #8
    Yes. I would delete the one in Career Guidance if you can. You may have to ask the moderator to do it. Your best shot is in Biology if they allow it because of the reason you gave. I didn't report this.The worst that can happen is that they (the moderators) move it back here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  10. Jul 21, 2011 #9
    Will do. And thanks for the info. :)
     
  11. Jul 25, 2011 #10

    bcrowell

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    This thread was double-posted in career guidance and biology. It belongs in career guidance. I've merged them and made sure the remaining thread was unlocked.
     
  12. Jul 25, 2011 #11
    thanks!
     
  13. Jul 26, 2011 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    Thankyou! I think so too

    It really depends on the university. During my second year summer I enrolled in a summer science program where I was attached to a lab for three months, you can ask when you apply at places if they offer similar things to this.

    What you could also do is search for degrees that include a year in industry, they're called sandwich degree's in the UK (not sure if you have them in the US). Basically you do two years of your degree then spend a year paid working at a company before coming back for your final year. One of my friends managed to do a year at a major pharma company and managed to acquire a lot of contacts, experience and money that was very useful for the rest of her degree.
     
  14. Jul 30, 2011 #13
    Yes we do have something similar to what you mentioned. Over in the US it's called Co-op and is pretty much the same thing that you described. Unfortunately, my school has no Co-op program!

    I still have a year or so before I think I should even apply for any type of position given my weak science background atm. I have a lot of time to think things through and do more research on potential positions in my area. So, many thanks brother. I wish you all the luck in discoveries that will benefit mankind. Maybe we'll even run into each other at a conference or something ten years down the road haha :).
     
  15. Jul 31, 2011 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    Always keep your eyes open, every now and then there's always a lab or a professor prepared to take on a student for work experience. Good luck to you too, if we meet at a conference I promise you a drink! Can't say fairer than that.
     
  16. Aug 1, 2011 #15
    In the end, the major doesn't really mean much especially considering how interdisciplinary science are nowaday. Just pick a major that you find the most interesting and the rest would work itself out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012
  17. Aug 1, 2011 #16
    I look forward to that drink Ryan. :) Hunterbender, thanks for your advice. I agree with your statement about science being very interdisciplinary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012
  18. Aug 2, 2011 #17

    Ryan_m_b

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    No problem, just keep in mind that whilst science is interdisciplinary when going for a job, PhD position etc it is best to have qualifications most relevant to the field.
     
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