"I've always enjoyed chemistry. It was my favourite subject in high school, along with the other sciences. I always knew I wanted to do sciences."

A research assistant can earns $35,000 - $45,000 per year.


In the medical and biotechnology field, analyzing patient samples quickly and accurately - not to mention cost effectively - is critical. Testing software developed for this purpose is a key ingredient of Allison Ross's job as chemist and research assistant for Chenomx Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta. Chenomx designs software, mainly for biotechnology companies in the human health sector.

During university, Allison sampled professional science as an intern for the petroleum industry. Turns out it was the right "chemistry" for a full-time job in biotechnology. The experience she is now getting at Chenomx, integrating health science with software programming, is a great step forward in career growth.

Did you know? Biotech firms generate more than $2 Billion in revenues annually.

Biotechnology is a challenging field. You need to be hard-working, eager to learn and intellectually curious in order to understand and apply the concepts of science.

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Allison has a number of responsibilities at Chenomx. She looks after the safety of the lab, updates safety references, tests the software, works with the development team to create a database of elements, assists in chemistry research and more.

In chemistry, not only do you need to understand formulas, reactions, elements and their properties, you need the right tools to get the job done. Allison's work would be impossible to complete without the sophisticated array of equipment at her fingertips.


Education: BA in chemistry from the University of Alberta.

Hobbies: Playing soccer, swimming, sewing, gardening, hiking, camping.