Master of Science in Biotechnology

Faculty

The following faculty members work with and teach students in the M.S. in Biotechnology degree program:

Professors: Larry P. Ammann (Mathematics), Ray H. Baughman (Chemistry), Lee A. Bulla (Molecular and Cell Biology), Santosh R. D’Mello (Molecular and Cell Biology), Rockford K. Draper (Molecular and Cell Biology), Sam Efromovich (Mathematics), Steven R. Goodman (Molecular and Cell Biology), Donald M. Gray (Molecular and Cell Biology), Donald A. Hicks (EPPS), M. Ali Hooshyar (Mathematics), Stephen D. Levene (Molecular and Cell Biology), Betty S. Pace (Molecular and Cell Biology), Lawrence J. Reitzer (Molecular and Cell Biology)
Associate Professors: Mark C. Anderson (SOM), Gregg R. Dieckmann (Chemistry), Gail A. Breen (Molecular and Cell Biology), Ovidiu Daescu (Computer Science), David L. Deeds (SOM), Ernest  M. Hannig (Molecular and Cell biology), Warren J. Goux (Chemistry), Robert L. Kieschnick (SOM), J B Lee (Electrical Engineering), Dennis L. Miller (Molecular and Cell Biology), Paul Pantano (Chemistry)
Assistant Professors: Wenchuang Hu (Electrical Engineering), Jung-Mo Anh (Chemistry), Yan Cao (Mathematics), Pankaj K. Choudhary (Mathematics), Mieczyslaw K Dabkowski (Mathematics), Ying Liu (Computer Science), Nirup M. Menon (SOM)
Senior Lecturers: Joseph C. Picken (SOM), Robert L. Robb (SOM)

Objectives

The M.S. degree in biotechnology is intended to prepare students for careers in biotechnology and biomedicine and to assist currently employed professionals in enhancing their career opportunities.

Biotechnology captures the exciting possibilities made possible by the decoding of the human genome and by the advances in bioanalytical instrumentation, and the field is projected for rapid growth. The M.S. in Biotechnology is designed so that students may enter the program with a wide range of prior disciplinary backgrounds, prepare for and take the four core courses, and, by choice from a wide range of approved electives, tailor the remainder of the degree program to their career opportunities. In this manner, students may develop areas of additional depth in fields such as:

·         molecular and cell biology

·         chemistry

·         engineering and computer science

·         health care policy

·         management and business administration

The M.S. in Biotechnology requires 36 hours of courses, typically twelve courses of three semester hours each.  Students may also elect to prepare and defend a thesis; more than 36 hours may be required for such a program.

The M.S. in Biotechnology is administered by the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Students seeking further information or advisement should contact the Molecular and Cell Biology Department office.

Core Courses

The core consists of four courses – BIOL 5376 Applied Bioinformatics, or CS 6325 Introduction to Bioinformatics, BIOL 5381 Genomics, BIOL 6373 Proteomics, and BIOL 6384 Biotechnology Laboratory. Students enrolled in the M.S. in Biotechnology M.S.program will have priority for enrollment in BIOL 6384.  Students who can demonstrate that they have acquired the material and/or skills in a core course may petition the Committee on Biotechnology for permission to substitute an approved elective course.

Program Policies

The program is open to all students who hold a bachelors degree, although those with laboratory science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering degrees are particularly encouraged to apply.  In general, students will not be admitted to the MS in Biotechnology program if they require more than two courses in order to be ready to take the core courses.

Every student admitted to the M.S. in Biotechnology program shall consult with the program advisor(s) and develop a mutually agreed degree plan. All requests for deviations from the degree program described in this catalog shall be discussed first with a program advisor, who will forward the request to the Committee on Biotechnology for decision.

There are no formal prerequisites for most of the core courses, and a student, after obtaining consent of the program advisor, may attempt one or more core courses. However, the level of the BIOL core courses is such that most students will want to have mastered the material in the following courses:

General Chemistry (two semesters, with lab)
Organic Chemistry (two semesters, with lab)
BIO 2311 Introduction to Modern Biology I (with workshop)
BIOL 3361 Biochemistry or BIOL 6352 Modern Biochemistry I
BIOL 3301 Classical and Molecular Genetics or BIOL 6V31 Molecular Genetics

The four core courses should be taken in the following order:  BIOL 5376 Applied Bioinformatics, BIOL 5381 Genomics, BIOL 6373 Proteomics, BIOL 6384 Biotechnology Laboratory.  Consent of instructor is required for core courses taken out of this sequence.


BIOL 6384 Biotechnology Laboratory is a skills based course. Students must show that they have adequate laboratory skills in order to enroll in BIOL 6384.


Also available are four 1-SCH summer preparatory courses for students who do not have the background in both biology and mathematics that is required for success in the core courses.  Students with a strong math background, who need access to modern biology, should take BIOL 5V00-06A (Biology Preparation – MS in Biotechnology I), BIOL 5V00-06M (Biology Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II), and MATH 5V06-06M  (Mathematics Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II).  Students with a strong biology background, who need access to mathematics/statistics, should take MATH 5V06-06A (Mathematics Preparation – MS in Biotechnology I), BIOL 5V00-06M (Biology Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II), and MATH 5V06-06M (Mathematics Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II).


Students who elect to prepare and defend a thesis must satisfy the MS thesis procedures specified by the department of their thesis supervisor.

Electives

As a general rule, any UTD graduate course that is approved by the advisor as being relevant to the student's tailored degree plan may be taken as an elective for the Biotechnology M.S. program. Students should consult the program advisor for the current list of recommended electives.

A joint program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, administered through the Mathematical Sciences Department, is also available, and courses offered within that program are also available as electives.