#BeAnAwesome: Biochemist

Naveen Raaj, Senior Biochemist at Innobiologics Sdn Bhd talks to coursesmalaysia.com about breaking down and studying all living organisms in a chemical context.
Naveen Raaj
Senior Biochemist at Innobiologics Sdn Bhd
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What will I do?

As a biochemist, one must be familiar with analytical methods used for determining the chemical composition or chemical processes associated with all living organisms. Having said that, it is a biochemist’s job to develop and validate new analytical methods which will be used to study new biological compounds. Knowledge of aseptic techniques is a must, due to the fact that most biochemists are required to handle cultures of bacterial, mammalian or fungal origin.

Is it for me?

  • Do I have a strong foundation in chemistry, biology and to a certain extent, physics?
  • Can I handle daily setbacks and overcome them effectively?
  • Do I have an inquisitive mind and like figuring out puzzles?
  • Am I able to research using the Internet to come up with solutions to a problem?
  • Am I willing to put long hours at work and even sacrifice weekends off? Bacteria cultures wait for no one!

What is the most enjoyable part of the job?

Every day is a challenge and it is not monotonous. As a biochemist, you get the thrill of the chase and a great sense of satisfaction when your goal is achieved. There is a possibility of you discovering a novel approach to better understand a bio-molecule or discovering a new biological compound that could cure specific diseases, or even better, understand certain bioprocesses that could be the breakthrough needed to prevent diseases such as cancer.

Who will employ me?

  • Biopharmaceutical companies
  • Pharmaceutical industries
  • Pathological labs
  • Companies that provide analytical services
  • F&B and dairy companies
  • R&D companies.

How much will I earn?

Fresh graduate: RM2,000 to RM4,000.

Experienced: RM3,000 to RM7,000.

Specialisations

Minimum qualification needed to enter the industry is a BSc in Biotechnology or BSc in Biochemistry.

Further requirements depends on the field/company of choice, for example:

  • Dairy companies - minor in microbiology.
  • Pathology laboratories - minor in microbiology, biology.
  • Biopharmaceutical industry - minor in microbiology, bacterial or mammalian cell culture (aseptic technique).