- Job Description
- Common Activities On The Job
- Working Conditions
- Salary Outlook
The work of a Biogerontologist is to understand the secrets of the aging process by studying the transformation of cells, organs and systems with age. An easy way to remember what Biogerontologists do is to think of how Biogerontologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in how humans age. This means that they are also primarily involved in research related to the aging process.
Humans have always been focused on slowing their aging process down or finding some cure-all method like the fountain of youth, but modern healthcare advancement has made the field even more attractive. Now more than ever, healthcare professionals can help reduce the aging effects that the general population suffers from, and the industry is booming for those interested in the field. More individuals are doing all that they can to reduce the effects of aging, which means that there is a large demand for healthcare professionals who can safely guide them on the pathway of living a healthy lifestyle and slowing their aging process.
To accurately understand why humans age and ways to prevent the aging process, Biogerontologists focus on conducting extensive research to figure out why the human body ages. If they can accurately predict and examine why humans age, they can then turn their efforts in to potentially reducing the number of aging factors humans are exposed to and reduce the aging process.
The research that Biogerontologists focus in are pinpointed around potentially reversing the aging process so we can all stay young for a longer period of time, or completely remove the aging process. In some cases, Biogerontologists will examine other biological creatures to determine what might cause premature or delayed aging processes, and potentially connect those biological conditions to humans. A good example of this is the animal kingdom where there are hundreds of species who live longer lives than humans, and we might be able to potentially garner some idea as to how they are able to accomplish such a feat.
Once a Biogerontologist gathers the necessary research, they are then tasked with using that research in real-life situations to see if there is a real-world application to reverse the aging process.
Some Biogerontologists concentrate on genetics and the roles played by genetics in determining the longevity of human life. For instance, some Biogerontologists believe that how our genetic makeup is structured determines whether or not we are predisposed to age quicker or slower than our peers. Others believe that genetic structure has nothing to do with how fast we age and that we’re just supposed to age at a normal pace regardless of how our genetics are made up.
Some Biogerontologists believe we could potentially change the normal pace through different methods but the aging process will still occur. Some focus on the influence of the environment on aging and search for factors that impact the longevity of human life. For instance one of the questions that Biogerontologists might ask throughout the course of their research is, “do those individuals who expose themselves to certain activities or environmental activities increase their potential risk of aging faster?”
It’s questions like this that essentially help Biogerontologists focus their research on individual topics, instead of getting lost in the vast world of aging research questions that can be asked.
Biogerontologists will often focus on certain complications or studies related to the aging process as a specialization. For example, it is not uncommon for Biogerontologists to focus on age-related complications such as osteoporosis. Some of the most common specializations that a Biogerontologist might focus include: cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, hair loss, wrinkles, and cardiovascular disease.
This is done to unearth the reasons for which senior citizens are affected with certain illnesses. This extra attention to certain medical conditions or environmental factors helps Biogerontologists evaluate what is causing significant aging among the general population, and find ways to potentially mitigate those environmental factors to help individuals live longer lives.
According to the beliefs of some Biogerontologists, aging is a medical condition that can be cured in the future. Bearing this in mind, they turn to stem cells, antioxidants, vitamins and other things that may be instrumental in reversing the process of aging. Biogerontologists are largely responsible for working with other researchers to develop new resources, drugs, pharmaceuticals, and more to delay the aging process and potentially reverse it.
They're well supported by pharmaceutical companies since drugs that promote greater lifespan have consistently increasing demand. Biogerontologists help develop new antioxidants, pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins, health products, health equipment, and more to reverse the aging process and slow it down.
Biogerontologists are concerned with aging and the ailments that come with it, including ailments such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and osteoporosis.
They work to understand the factors involved in causes such medical conditions and research to reverse the processes and improve the lives of others.
Some are required to manage dangerous chemicals while searching for answers. Most of the Biogerontologist's time is occupied by research, education, and collaboration with the scientific community.
Biogerontologists are responsible for studying animals, and humans to determine whether or not there are additional factors to aging. Biogerontologists are tasked with connecting potential dots between aging factors and evaluating whether or not there is a potential cure to the aging process or reduce the effect aging has on the body.
Biogerontologists seek out ways to use the research they have gathered to implement the research into real-life scenarios and real-world applications to reverse the effects of aging on the general population.
Biogerontologists are also responsible for educating both patients and other healthcare professionals on relevant aging factors and provide consultation on how individuals can reduce the effects of aging through various treatments, programs, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Biogerontologists are tasked with staying up to date on relevant industry and career education as it pertains to their field and daily activities.
Biogerontologists are tasked with reviewing a patient’s individual history and medical records to evaluate potential contributors to an increased chance of aging prematurely. After reviewing the individual patient’s history and medical records, Biogerontologists are tasked with consulting with the patient to inform them about corrective measures that need to be taken in their lifestyle, and the benefits of making a lifestyle change.
Another responsibility for Biogerontologists is to fully understand the human body from the cellular level up to major organs and systems. Understanding how they relate to one another is critical to understanding how aging factors will play a role throughout one’s lifetime. Biogerontologists are also responsible for understanding the role of emotional states and how they relate to aging. For instance, if someone is depressed, their body might age more quickly over time than someone who is jubilant.
Educating patients about emotional factors are just as important to aging as the physical factors. Biogerontologists have to communicate effectively to their patients who will be less familiar with these complex topics and be able to talk about personal factors that might be affecting a patient’s aging process with sensitivity.
Common Activities On The Job
Now that we’ve highlighted the job description and responsibilities for Biogerontologists, we’re going to highlight some of the common activities on the job. These are the daily activities you might find yourself doing throughout your career as a Biogerontologist, and offer a little bit of insight into whether or not you’re going to enjoy the role.
One of the most common activities you will find yourself doing on the job as a Biogerontologist is conducting research each day. Your research will focus on the aging process, human behavior, emotional connections, animal life, animal biology, and much more. In some cases, your research will be mandated by the hospital or healthcare facility you work for. In other cases, it will be open-reign where you can determine what you’d like to focus on.
• Research Application
Another common activity that Biogerontologists do each day is apply the research they are working on. Throughout the course of the research, Biogerontologists theorize on potential remedies for various aging causes and factors. The problem with theorizing is that they are just theories until the research is actually applied. The applied research might be in clinical studies, group studies, biological testing, and more.
Throughout the research application, Biogerontologists are tasked with creating and maintaining in-depth research records so things can be recreated each time accurately and efficiently. These research records will help to evaluate whether or not something messed up along the way and allow the Biogerontologist to identify room for improvement in the research and potential branches of additional ideas.
• Journal Reviews
Biogerontologist, along with other healthcare professionals, are asked to stay up to date on current medical and healthcare journals. These medical journals and healthcare industry journals help healthcare professionals and Biogerontologists stay up to date on new technology innovations, medical advice, prospective research, research findings, and more.
As a Biogerontologist, reviewing journals is critical to ensuring that you are staying up to date on modern healthcare industry news and trends.
• Patient Consultation
Another common activity Biogerontologists deal with on a daily basis involves professional consultation with their patients. This generally involves educating each patient about how the body naturally ages, and the side effects of aging. In addition, Biogerontologists will frequently have a dialogue back and forth so they can learn more about teach patient and identify potential reasonings for aging.
Part of the consultation with patients involves educating patients about making healthy lifestyle changes and the benefits that can be obtained from changing. In addition, Biogerontologists are responsible for educating other healthcare professionals. Other healthcare professionals will have to interact with patients who will also have questions related to their aging concerns.
Because you cannot answer every single question that a patient might have, educating other healthcare professionals is going to be critical to educating the general population and impacting others on a large scale.
Part of a Biogerontologist’s role as an educator might also involve spending time at local colleges, universities, or medical schools to educate the next workforce. Part of this education also involves teaching the soon-to-be Biogerontologists about things they should know regarding the industry and profession.
Part of the daily activities that a Biogerontologist might be tasked with each daily involves training other relevant healthcare professionals about proper research methods, patient interaction, medical record collection, and more.
The healthcare industry is one of the most strict and regulated compared ot other industries, which means that every single person needs to receive extensive training and procedures to ensure that they are following the right techniques and methods. As a Biogerontologist, you will have to train other healthcare professionals who are under your supervision to ensure that they are following the proper reporting and interacting procedures, and also following the correct research guidelines.
• Evaluate Programs
As a Biogerontologist, you will also be in charge of evaluating existing programs and tracking the progress of the research associated with each one. You will have to evaluate whether or not certain research programs and plans are worth investment, and if the research is being developed at an appropriate rate.
In essence, Biogerontologists perform various project management responsibilities to evaluate and track the progress of various research programs and evaluate which resources should be spent where. Part of this common activity revolves around identifying any gaps that might exist and could use a new program to educate or be researched.
Another element of evaluating programs is the review of some of the anti-aging initiatives that are being marketed to the general public as ways to improve their lifestyle and decrease the effect aging has on each person.
Part of the role of a Biogerontologist is to also ensure that the programs in place are going to be beneficial for the elderly generation and will have a positive signature on their life.
• Design Programs
Another role that you will have as a Biogerontologist is to design new programs and new initiatives to educate the general population about ways to decrease aging effects, or completely reverse certain symptoms of aging. Biogerontologists have to put on their marketing hat to design initiatives and programs that will help provide awareness and education to others.
As a program developer and program designer, a Biogerontologist is tasked with coming up with new programs and initiatives designed for older adults.
• Implement New Programs
Once a Biogerontologist has evaluated existing programs, identified program gaps, and designed new ones — the next step is to implement the new programs. Biogerontologists oversee some of the healthy aging initiatives that are designed to educate patients and their family members.
• Draft Research Findings
Part of the research process involves finally drafting the document where you detail your research findings. This involves writing the research reports and providing informed opinions based on what the evidence and data suggest regarding the research. These documents are often peer-reviewed by other Biogerontologists and receive additional editing. As a Biogerontologist, you might also be asked to provide peer-review on other research documents or contribute as an expert in the field for research from other healthcare professionals.
• Write Research Findings In Journals
Once you have finished the drafting process for the research and are ready to showcase it to the world. The most common way to do that is to submit it to various research journals, medical journals, healthcare industry journals, and more.
• Present Research Findings
The next common activity that a Biogerontologist might have is to present the research findings that they have invested so much time and effort into. Part of the responsibility of presenting the research findings involves defending the research. As a Biogerontologist, you have to ensure that your research followed the proper research method, is well documented, and capable of being defended.
Biogerontologists can present their research at healthcare industry conventions, research gatherings, board meetings, grant meetings, investment meetings, and more. Part of the scary thing presenting research findings involves being able to defend it. A little bit of practice goes a long way, and if your research is sound — then you have nothing to fear.
Successful Biogerontologists have a keen and deep understanding of science and mathematics. As with most research science positions, they also need to have strong critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the capability of working with a team of other professionals, or alone.
Written and oral communications skills are key for a successful career in biogerontology as they often work with professionals from a myriad of other fields, including engineering, physicists, physicians, geneticists, and mathematicians.
Biogerontologists are stationed in universities, pharmaceutical companies and research facilities that focus on aging. In addition, Biogerontologists find themselves working in various educational settings. Biogerontologists work in educational settings like universities and schools to help educate the new workforce and provide guidance to research training, techniques, and methods.
Biogerontologists might also work in government facilities or private facilities to conduct research on behalf of the government or large pharmaceutical companies.
Biogerontologists work in research labs, research facilities, and group research environments.
They are known to work with dangerous substances that are used in innovative research projects. The work of a Biogerontologist is long, tiring and often futile.
They are also under the pressure of reducing costs and finding alternate sources of funding for their research projects.
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