Biomedical science, also sometimes referred to as healthcare science, focuses on the scientific aspects of healthcare in the provision of medical care. The role of a biomedical scientist is wide-ranging and often varies depending on the particular area a scientist specialises in.
The sub-disciplines in which a scientist can specialise, and which are frequently covered by the umbrella of biomedical science, include:
- Cytology – cells, their structure, functions and disorders
- Genetics – the study of genes, DNA and heredity in living organisms
- Haematology – blood, the organs that produce blood and disorders of these organs, the cells and the blood
- Histopathology – the study of diseases, their origins and the ways in which they can develop or be treated
- Immunology – the study of the immune system, its functions and defects
- Microbiology – the general term given to the study of any microscopic living organisms or microorganisms
- Serology - the diagnostic study of blood serum and bodily fluids
- Transfusions – ensuring compatibility for blood transfusions or between organ donors and recipients
- Virology – the study of viruses, the ways they evolve, the disorders they encourage and the ways in which they can be treated or developed
The vast majority of work is likely to be carried out in a laboratory environment, with little to no contact with patients.
Some senior biomedical scientists will choose to divide their time between clinical work and teaching in higher education institutions.