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A Geneticist is a scientist who studies genes, specifically how they affect heredity and variation in organisms. A geneticist may be interested in how genes are transferred and duplicated and how they can be manipulated. This study can take the form of research in areas as diverse as human disease, agriculture and pharmacology.

Geneticists typically complete post-graduate study which leads to specialisation in an area such as molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, population genetics or ecological genetics. Some of the vocational areas a Geneticist may pursue include:

  • Laboratory Genetics: Hands on testing and research which may be commissioned or utilised by pharmaceutical companies, the agricultural industry, the legal system and police.
  • Genetic Counselling: Working as part of a health care team to provide information and support for individuals affected by genetic disorders or at risk of a variety of hereditary diseases. This branch of genetics often requires training in counselling.
  • Clinical Genetics: Geneticists working in a clinical setting are often involved in prenatal and carrier testing as well as diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders; most clinical geneticists also have medical qualifications.
  • Academia: Research, writing and teaching.

Genetics is a quickly developing and exciting area of study which produces developments and challenges that receive a great deal of interest across the medical and scientific communities and the media.