Biomedical research is the broad area of science that is undertaken to gain knowledge and understanding of the biological processes and the causes of disease. Biomedical research is an evolutionary process that requires the input and participation of many professionals. Through careful experimentation, laboratory work, analysis, and testing, biomedical researchers look for ways to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that cause illness and death in people and animals.
Biomedical research involves the use of many tools including cell/tissue cultures, computer models, animal models, epidemiological studies, and human volunteers. People and animals are living longer and healthier lives because of biomedical research. Every person in the United States has directly benefited from the use of animals in biomedical research.
Laboratory Animal Science
This is the area of biomedical research that specializes in the care and study of animals used in medical research, testing, and teaching. Animals are a crucial part of biomedical research. Click here for additional information.
Fields of Biomedical Research and Related Careers
Click here to view a chart that describes the various career paths within the biomedical field; from research scientists to technicians to professionals involved in animal transportation and housing. Learn about the many career opportunities, the education needed to enter the different careers, and whether the career paths involve direct or indirect work with animals.
Examples of Researchers and Scientists
Cardiologists research disorders of the heart and blood vessels and develop life-saving drugs and surgical techniques such as pacemakers and artificial heart valves.
Cell Biologists study cell composition, structure, and function to understand how the molecules that make up cells work together to produce functional cells, and how cells work together to make tissues and organs.
Endocrinologists research disorders of the endocrine system and related conditions such as diabetes, obesity,and thyroidism.
Geneticists study heredity, genes, and DNA. Stem cells and genetically modified organisms are areas of such research.
Hematologists research ways to treat diseases of the blood, spleen, and lymph glands, such as anemia, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, and leukemia.
Immunologists study the body's defense mechanisms against viral or bacterial invasions and develop preventative vaccines and treatments.
Microbiologists research the causes of disease such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Neurologists research ways to treat all disorders of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and the structures that support them.
Oncologists research ways to treat and cure all types of cancer, in humans and in animals.
Pathologists analyze the biochemistry of the body to detect and monitor disease and explore the causes and nature of disease.
Pharmacologists create new compounds and study the interaction of drugs on the systems and processes of living animals for therapeutic and other uses.
Pulmonologists research ways to treat diseases of the lungs and airways such as lung cancer, pneumonia, pleurisy, asthma, sleep disorders (which often affect breathing), and emphysema.
Research Veterinarians research the diseases and conditions associated with domestic pets, livestock, and wild animals and develop vaccines, treatments, and cures.
Toxicologists study toxic substances and their effects on organisms, helping people and animals that have been poisoned by household or industrial toxins, environmental toxins, and prescription and nonprescription drugs.
Transplant Surgeons and Veterinarian Surgeons research how organs can be transplanted from human to human, from animal to animal, and in xenotransplantation, from animal to human.