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While Pathologists study the origin and progression of diseases, Molecular Pathologists take that study one step further: You strive to understand how the body reacts to diseases at the molecular level. Molecular Pathologists commonly study cancer, but contribute in a number of other ways as well.
As a Molecular Pathologist, you spend a great deal of time in the lab. The microscope and Petri dishes are your regular companions, although you probably also work with other Pathologists and Pathology Technicians.
The cell and tissue samples that you examine might come from a Forensic Pathologist studying the cause of a person’s death, a Physician treating a cancer patient, or an Immunologist gathering information about the progression of a disease.
You also create your own lab experiments, conduct research, and write up your findings. Your work could even be spotlighted in the New England Journal of Medicine. For example, you might work to find new treatments for a disease or better understand why patients react differently to the same treatment.
Carcinogens, such as those found in the environment and household cleaners, land on your microscope slide, too. That’s because your goal is to identify which component causes damage to the body so that it can be improved.
If you want to study genetics, create new medications to fight disease, better understand the body’s reaction to treatments, or improve the amino acid sequencing knowledge base, a job as a Molecular Pathologist is for you.