The world is already witnessing layoffs and pay cuts amid the current financial crisis due to COVID-19. With the whole world at the brink of what could be the worst recession in ages, almost all of us are at risk of losing our jobs. However, there are a few jobs that will be in demand during this phase.
6 Bioscience Careers in High Demand during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
With the spread of coronavirus, the demand for masks, ventilators, disposable gloves, goggles, face shields, and other medical pieces of equipment have gone up.
The field of biomedical engineering (aka Bioengineering) is an applied field of science and engineering at the intersection of engineering, biology, healthcare, and medicine. The aim of the field is to develop systems, equipment, and devices in order to solve clinical problems – both diagnostics and therapeutics.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), biomedical engineering plays an essential role in effective health care delivery and is employed by multi-disciplinary clinical and research teams in developing strategies for the diagnosis and management of many medical conditions. Further, biomedical engineering has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to revamp health systems in resource-limited environments through improvements in diagnosis and treatment.
So, it could be a great time to pursue Bachelors or Masters in Biomedical Engineering.
As we have read in various reports, the testing of suspects needs to be faster and the number of testing needs to be increased as well in order to identify transmission dynamics and at-risk populations. Diagnosis of coronavirus requires developing easy-to-apply diagnostics, sophisticated laboratory testing facilities, and trained personnel.
Diagnostic testing services are experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand across the whole world amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Testing is crucial for an appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows countries to understand and take evidence-based measures to slow down the spread of the disease. Currently, there aren’t enough COVID-19 tests to meet the demand, so creating new tests is urgently needed, and companies that deal in diagnostics, microbiology, biotechnology, and screening will see an increased need for services in the months ahead.
So, diagnostics is definitely one of the key sectors that are seeing growth opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. Both the in vivo and in vitro segments will be in demand in the coming months. Technique wise, RT-PCR, Radiography, CT-scan, Medical Imaging, etc. will be the hot favorites. Read more about diagnostics careers and jobs in India.
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Virology and Microbiology
Be it the development of vaccines or therapeutics (new treatment), virologists will be the best ones for the job.
Virology is the branch of science that deals with the study of viruses and virus-like agents, including (but not limited to) their taxonomy, disease-producing properties, cultivation, and genetics.
Essentially, virology is a specialized branch within the broad field of microbiology. Compared to the other organisms in microbiology, viruses are very unique with different characteristics (with regards to multiplication, structure, etc) that set them apart.
Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine
In the last years, the promising features of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), including their regenerative properties and ability to differentiate into diverse cell lineages, have generated great interest among researchers whose work has offered intriguing perspectives on cell-based therapies for various diseases. COVID-19 is a virus that causes respiratory disease and in serious cases, it can lead to pneumonia.
Studies in mice have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their ability to reduce virus-induced lung injury and mortality. The use of MSCs in these studies have helped to effectively reduce the levels of inflammation as well as the number of inflammatory cells that enter the lungs after contracting a disease such as pneumonia, which may be beneficial in COVID-19 cases.
More than 100 COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Beijing received injections of mesenchymal stem cells to help them fend off the disease. The experimental treatment was a part of a clinical trial, which coordinators say has shown early promise in alleviating COVID-19 symptoms. At least 14 such clinical trials using stem cells to treat coronavirus patients were reported in China.
Learn more about careers in regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy.
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Epidemiology and Public Health
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases in populations. It is the key quantitative discipline that underpins public health, which is often defined as the organized efforts of society to prevent disease and to promote health.
Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.
The field deals with taking appropriate measures in improving the health conditions of the society and communities by educating them about various diseases and helping them understand the preventive measures. Public health promotes the measures that need to be taken amongst communities to live, learn, work and play.
Public health aims to improve the quality of life through the prevention and treatment of disease, including mental health. Careers in public health go well beyond working in neighborhood clinics and promoting healthy living initiatives.
Decisions like how many days of lockdown and in what kind of intervals are needed to stop the spread of a pandemic comes from epidemiologists and public health professionals. Know more about public health careers and jobs.
Bioinformatics has been gaining huge popularity for quite some time. With the spread of COVID-19, the field has gained even more importance.
Be it designing a specific synthetic vaccine epitope using molecular modeling & docking studies, understanding the structure of the spike protein of Coronavirus, and investigating cell signaling pathways & pre-clinical drug discovery process, the usage of bioinformatics has been pretty widespread.
Bioinformatics can be defined as the application of information technology to study living things (or biological processes) at the molecular level (gene or protein level). It’s an interdisciplinary field that leverages computation methods (mathematical modeling, statistics, programming, simulation studies, analytical methods, etc.) to analyze large sets of biological data.
The objective of bioinformatics is to discover (or identify) the biological process or make new predictions (e.g. disease mechanism, the yield of new crops, or drug therapeutics).
Few Other In-Demand Careers:
- Hospital Administration
- Industrial Biotechnology
- Health Informatics
- Translational Medicine
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Featured Image Source: NPR