Virology Jobs

Provides information on virology and what virologists do in their job including which companies hire virologists.

What is Virology

Virology is the study of viruses and their roles in disease. Viruses are pathogens. Virology includes the study of the structure and function of viruses and of the diseases caused by virus infections. The emphasis is on the understanding these processes at the molecular level.

What is a Virologist and what do they do?

A virologist is a specialist in the field of Microbiology. Microbiology includes the study of all microorganisms. Virology focuses on viruses. Some virologists study the composition and function of newly discovered antiviral compounds. Much of the virologist’s work done is in the laboratory. Accuracy and attention to detail is essential. Excellent record-keeping is critical.

What qualifications do Virologists generally need?

A solid background in life science or biochemistry is very important. Masters level programs include coursework, lab study and research. This may be a 12 month program or longer. Research specialists are likely to have completed a Ph.D. level of education. There are many places to study virology at major universities in the United States, Australia, or Great Britain.

What does a Virologist cover in coursework?

Most virology programs are a part of the molecular biology or medical graduate programs. Some specialize in a particular virus, or plant viruses or veterinary viruses or human viruses. A few select interdisciplinary programs include many types of viruses in their course and laboratory work, to better prepare the graduate student or physician with a broader diversity of real life situations.

What type of tasks do Virologists do in their job?

The Virologist performs laboratory work, tissue study, vector analysis, perhaps genome study and electron microscope work. Primary duties of a virologist are

  • to study growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of viruses
  • to isolate and make cultures of significant viruses
  • to identify viruses by microscopic or electron microscopic exam
  • to observe and monitor action of viruses on living or non-living organic materials
  • to perform chemical analyses of substances produced by viruses and study their effects on organic matter.
  • What areas of specialization may Virologists choose?

    Viruses replicate and viruses adapt to changing environments. This characteristic is part of what makes their analysis and study so important to maintaining good public health, to improving health and to eradicating diseases such as malaria, polio, and others. This is a growing and complex field of study.

    A virologist may specialize in the pubic health area, or in newly emerging and rapidly adapting viruses like Ebola, or in developing viral therapies for specific diseases. Other areas of specialization include, but are not limited to: Infectious Disease, Biological Warfare, HIV, Viral Vectors & Gene Therapy, Viral Oncology and Immunology, Molecular Biology And Pathology, Veterinary Viruses, Plant Viruses, Retroviruses, Tumor Suppressing Viruses, Prion Diseases,

    What types of companies employ Virologists?

    Virologists are employed by hospitals, medical schools, medical research companies, pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies, laboratory testing companies, or cancer treatment or research companies depending upon the specialization.