Protein biochemistry is the study of proteins.
Protein biochemistry is a scientific field dedicated to the study of proteins, the complex chains of amino acids that constitute the building blocks of all living organisms. Proteins are responsible for everything from an organism’s physical structure to the activities of the nervous system, making them of critical interest to anyone working in the biosciences. Colleges and universities can offer protein biochemistry as part of their biochemistry programs to students interested in this topic, and people can also study protein biochemistry in private labs, government agencies, and charitable organization labs.
A protein biochemistry researcher may supervise experiments conducted by technicians in a laboratory.
Biochemistry itself is concerned with the complex chemistry of living organisms, including the chemical structure of the components of living organisms, the chemical interactions that occur in the body, and errors in chemistry that contribute to disease and disability. In protein biochemistry, biochemists especially study proteins. These complex polymers generate a large amount of study material, as a single protein can occupy a researcher for a lifetime, and the body contains a myriad of proteins.
People working in the field of protein biochemistry often have advanced degrees that may include graduate work.
The study of protein biochemistry involves studying the chemical structure of proteins, looking at individual amino acids and how they bind together, and the physical structure of proteins. Proteins are three-dimensional in nature and their shape can dictate their function. Changes in the shape of a protein can alter the way it functions, contribute to the development of new proteins, and contribute to the emergence of malignancies.
Researchers are also interested in the chemical reactions that involve proteins. These reactions are usually mediated by enzymes, which are also a topic of interest in protein biochemistry. Researchers can study protein expression, looking at the ways in which proteins express themselves and dictate various activities within the body, along with the ways in which proteins can be used. For example, isolation of a specific protein in a medical test can be used to check for signs of disease in a patient.
People working in the field of protein biochemistry often have advanced degrees that may include graduate work. They can study proteins in humans or other organisms, and their pay can vary depending on the type of research they do and the laboratories they work in. Knowledge of protein chemistry can also be important for people working in other branches of biochemistry and the life sciences in general, and protein biochemists can be part of scientific teams working on topics of medical or scientific interest.