Investigates the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.
A person in this career:
- Isolates and maintains cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.
- Studies growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.
- Examines physiological, morphological, and cultural characteristics, using microscope, to identify and classify microorganisms in human, water, and food specimens.
- Provides laboratory services for health departments, for community environmental health programs, and for physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.
- Investigates the relationship between organisms and disease, including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Prepares technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
- Supervises biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.
- Monitors and performs tests on water, food, and the environment to detect harmful microorganisms or to obtain information about sources of pollution, contamination, or infection.
- Uses a variety of specialized equipment such as electron microscopes, gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters and phosphorimagers.
- Observes action of microorganisms upon living tissues of plants, higher animals, and other microorganisms, and on dead organic matter.