Pharmacogenomicists combine knowledge of pharmacology and genomics to study how a person's DNA determines their response to pharmaceuticals. The goal of pharmacogenomicists, then, is to develop safer, more effective drugs and vaccines.
A pharmacogenomicist's work is rooted in research. This research has two dimensions: First, using knowledge of genetics to design new drugs, and second, investigating the effects of existing drugs according to a person's genetic makeup.
Pharmacogenomics is a relatively new discipline, seen by many as providing a new avenue for pharmacological research. The field is open, with positions readily available to qualified candidates, but competition for these positions is expected to increase considerably in the near future.
Working Conditions & Context
Most pharmacogenomicists work in laboratories and offices, primarily conducting research. Some of their time is spent attending conferences and publishing the results of their research. Others teach in universities and medical schools. Pharmacogenomicists work for government agencies as well as private pharmaceutical companies, and sometimes for private research organizations.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $39,870 - $134,770 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $72,590 annually.
Most pharmacogenomicists hold doctorate degrees (Ph.D., M.D., D.O., or Pharm.D.). It is possible to secure an entry-level position with a Master's degree, but most significant positions require a doctorate.
Students wishing to pursue a career in pharmacogenomics should major in pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology, or biochemistry. Such coursework will prepare them for graduate work in more specific, rigorous programs.
Certification & Licensing:
The International Society of Pharmacogenomics
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Pharmacogenomics Portal
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.