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Get to 'play' with your very own grown-up chemistry set; Careers in pharmacology If you have a keen interest in science and the ability to interpret data, a career in pharmacology may appeal. Sue Kelbrick found out more.

What does a career as a pharmacologist involve? Pharmacologists study the effects of drugs and chemical compounds on cells, animals, humans and the environment.

They also carry out research aimed at discovering and developing new drugs.

As a pharmacologist you would work in a team of scientists and other staff, perhaps leading and planning projects. The work could include designing, setting up and carrying out experiments, analysing data using complex equipment and measuring systems, and testing drugs on cells and animals in labs and through clinical trials on humans.

Also involved would be the writing of reports and making recommendations based on the results of experiments and research, using the results of research to develop new products and processes, studying the unwanted or harmful effects of drugs and testing the safety of manufactured products.

What skills are needed? To be a pharmacologist you should have an aptitude for science, maths, statistics and IT, an enquiring mind, a creative and innovative approach and good problemsolving skills. Also useful is the ability to work in a team, the ability to analyse and interpret data and accuracy and attention to detail.

What training do you need? You will need a degree-level qualification. Pharmacology is the most relevant subject, however a degree in biochemistry, physiology or microbiology may also be accepted by employers.

Pharmacology degree courses are available on a full-time or part-time basis. Some courses, such as sandwich degrees, include a year working in industry.

In addition, if you wish to work in research and development you will usually need a postgraduate degree in pharmacology or a relevant PhD.

What are the opportunities for career progression? There are job opportunities in both the public and private sectors. With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager, or move into other areas such as medical sales and marketing, drug registration, patent work and information science.

You could take further training to move into medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine - with a pharmacology degree you could apply for a shortened, graduate entry course with a medical school.

What is the salary? Starting salaries may be PS21,000-PS28,000 a year, with senior pharmacologists potentially earning between PS35,000 and PS80,000.

More information ? British Pharmacological Society: telephone 020 7239 0171, website ? Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Careers: telephone, 020 7930 3477, ? Details are provided for information only. Jobs not necessarily available.


EXPERIMENTAL: If you are good at science and maths a career in pharmacology could be for you
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:May 30, 2013
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