If you want to understand how life is possible, how carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, phosphate and a few metals combine to create complex organisms like ourselves, biochemistry is the answer. Biochemists study the chemistry of life: the complex molecules of which cells are constructed; the chemical reactions that provide the cell with energy; the proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids that orchestrate cellular reproduction, that control myriad processes, that allow cells to communicate with each other. Biochemists seek to understand the chemical basis for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s that disrupt the ability of cells to function and to cooperate. As a biochemist, you can conduct basic research, to understand how life works. You can study the genetic basis of disease, or how viruses and microorganisms cause sickness and death. You will be valued as a teacher or researcher in academia, as an applied scientist in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and as a policy maker and advisor in government. Biochemistry is the foundation of all of the sciences concerned with the processes of life in health or their disruption in disease, including physiology, neurobiology, immunology and genetics. So, as a biochemist, your field of study is all of life, and the physics and chemical principles that make it possible.