Careers in Molecular/Micro Biology

Lisa Stein steinl at
Wed Mar 19 19:06:30 EST 1997

>    Maybe a few of you can explain what you do now; what type of
> education you had; what you like best; what you don't like, etc.  Are
> Phds recommended/required for this field?
>    If you teach mol. or micro bio., what are some good introductory text
> books?
>    Any opinions about the subject at UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis,
> Duke, the College of William and Mary, Davidson College, UC North
> Carolina-Chapel Hill or any other school in North
> Carolina/Virginia/California?    Thanks! *Kim*    
> -- 

It's great that you have such ambition before going to college.  I am 
both a molecular and micro biologist and I believe that they are good 
career choices.  However, my path took several twists and turns during 
college because it's just so darn exciting to be an undergrad.  My advice 
to you is not to make the same mistake as my husband -- he always dreamed 
of being a professor, and cheated himself in college by not taking fun, 
enlightening courses along with the science.  We both ended up in the 
same graduate program, and we're both doing well, but I know that he 
wishes he had more experiences in college.  Also remember that molecular 
biology is really a set of tools and techniques that can be applied to 
any system (searching for genes, regulation, biochemistry) but 
microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms -- bacteria, viruses, 
fungi.  I say this not to be condescending, but because many people don't 
understand the distinction.
	For molecular biology, I think Albert's "The Molecular Biology of 
the Cell" is a great book.  For microbiology, the best text by far that 
I've come across is Brock and Madigan's "Biology of Microorganisms."  
Best of luck to you.  I think you'll know more about whether to get a 
Ph.D once you've earned your Bachelor's degree.	 

-L. Stein
Oregon State Univ.

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