The Bachelor of Science Program in Biotechnology is intended to provide students with strong core science concepts and an application-oriented undergraduate education. Strongly interdisciplinary, this innovative program draws faculty and courses from the College of Technology and the College of Natural Science and Math. The program’s objective is to prepare students for employment opportunities in the critically important and dynamic biotechnology industry. In addition, the curriculum will provide students with knowledge and core set of skills that span across basic sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. With an emphasis on environmental biotechnology, this is the first program in the state of Texas that integrates bioprocessing, nanobiotechnology, bioinformatics and environmental biotechnology into the undergraduate curriculum.
The program recognizes the need for cross-disciplinary training and fosters collaborative interactions that will strengthen undergraduate education.
The program is specifically designed to:
The two curriculum tracks: 1) Bioprocessing, and 2) Bioinformatics give students the flexibility to tailor their degree based on their interest, educational background and career goals. These tracks, in combination with core courses, will provide our students with a broad exposure to the field of biotechnology. The presence of the Texas Medical Center in the greater Houston area and a growing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, places this program at the forefront of Biotechnology Education.
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Biotechnology is technology based on biology. It combines biological disciplines like genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology and cell biology with technical disciplines like chemical engineering, information technology, and robotics.
As information technology drove economic progress in the latter part of the 20th Century, there are expectations that biotechnology will be a significant factor for progress in the early part of the 21st century. Organizations are using biotechnology in drug development, medical treatments, agriculture and food processing, biosecurity and biofuels, with new techniques and applications for biotechnology continuously being discovered.
In agriculture and medicine, biotechnology techniques have produced new and improved foods, virus resistant crop plants and animals, advances in insect resistance, new antibiotics, vaccines for malaria, improved ways of producing insulin, diagnostic tests for hereditary cancers and Huntington's disease and treatments for AIDS.
Increasingly, biotechnology is also being applied to problems in the environment and in energy. Genetically engineered micro-organisms and plants clean up toxic wastes from industrial production and oil spills. Genetic methods are used to identify particular populations of endangered species. Minute traces of animal or plant remains are used to track and convict poachers. Genetic analysis helps botanical gardens, zoos, and game farms improve their breeding programs by determining the genetic diversity of various plant and animal populations. Microbes are making it economically feasible to produce ethanol for running machinery from corn stover, wheat straw, sugar cane waste and other agricultural crop residues.
Page Updated: September 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM