As a toxicologist, you’ll look at the impact that toxic materials and radiation has on the environment and human and animal health. You’ll plan and carry out laboratory and field studies that help to identify, monitor and evaluate this impact and will also consider the use of future technology. You may work in different areas of toxicology, which include: academic/university; clinical; ecotoxicology; forensic; industrial; occupational; pharmaceutical; regulatory.

Typical Work Activities

  • Isolating, identifying and measuring toxic substances or radiation and any harmful effect they have on humans, animals, plants or ecosystems.
  • Planning and carrying out a wide range of experiments in the field or laboratories, looking at the biological systems of plants and animals.
  • Analysing and evaluating statistical data and researching scientific literature.
  • Writing reports and scientific papers, presenting findings and, in the case of forensic work, giving evidence in court.
  • Advising on the safe handling of toxic substances and radiation, in production or in the event of an accident.
  • Studying the effects of harmful chemicals, biological agents and drug overdose on people and advising on the treatment of affected patients.
  • Liaising with regulatory authorities to make sure you’re complying with local, national and international regulations.
  • Carrying out risk assessments.
  • Doing various tests using specialised techniques, including in vivo and in vitro tests.
  • Using experimental data to assess a drug’s toxicity and create a safety profile.
  • Balancing potential benefits against any risks.

Technical Skills

  • Organised and methodical approach to work.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Good teamworking skills to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Ability to collect and analyse large amounts of experimental data.
  • High degree of self-motivation and a proactive approach to work.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, for presenting data and communicating results.

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