Lap-Chee Tsui

Genetics

Found the gene that causes cystic fibrosis

"Knowing science can enrich your life. Basically, science is a foundation for genuine common sense."

So You Want to Be a Geneticist

Lap-Chee Tsui encourages people to consider a career in the “life sciences.” In addition to the typical jobs of technician or university researcher and professor, new opportunities are emerging as biotech company managers, or even biotechnology investment bankers. “As genomic biology is the key discipline that underlies all research in life sciences and medicine, a biology graduate does not have to be limited to jobs in the bio field,” says Tsui. There are many non-university research institutes, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. After high school, it takes from 11 to 15 years of training to reach the level of an independent research biologist like Tsui. His advice to aspiring geneticists: “Cultivate your curiosity, persistence and passion.”

Tsui normally works about 10 to 16 hours a day. “I feel great if I can manage to get experiments to give results more or less as predicted to support my original hyptheses,” he says. But he gets even more excited when his experiments give results that are totally unexpected. The most exciting part of his work is when he can interpret unexpected data and uncover something new.

A wide spectrum of jobs is available to individuals with genetics training. Plant and animal breeders, medical specialists, pharmaceutical workers and government regulators are just a few possibilities.

Other scientists who may be of interest:

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