Biotechnology Engineering Colleges
The Graduate Program in Biotechnology Science and Engineering is an Interdisciplinary Program with faculty from the Departments of Chemistry, Biological Sciences and Chemical Engineering. Adjunct faculty from the Marshall Space Flight Center and local biotechnology research centers and companies are also involved in the program.
The program's mission is to provide Ph.D. level graduates who are broadly trained in the areas of science and engineering pertinent to biotechnology and who will benefit the economic, educational, and cultural development of Alabama. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to make significant contributions to biotechnology in academic, governmental, and business settings.
The interdisciplinary program in Biotechnology Science and Engineering provides broad training in sciences and engineering dealing with the handling and the processing of macromolecules and living systems. Students receive advanced training in one of three specializations: Structural Biology, Biomolecular Sciences or Bioprocess Engineering. The principal core of instructors and research advisors are drawn from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Chemical and Materials Engineering. The program includes significant involvement from local biotechnology companies as well as NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
What is Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is not a single area of study, but a multidisciplinary field concerned with the practical application of biological organisms and their subcellular components to industrial or service manufacturing, to environmental management and health, and to medicine. It is a series of enabling technologies drawn from the fields of microbiology, cellular biology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, immunology, fermentation technology, environmental science and engineering which allow one to synthesize, breakdown or transform materials to suit human needs. Biotechnology ("Current Trends in Chemical Technology, Business, and Employment, " American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. 1998) can therefore be defined as the safe study and manipulation of biological molecules for development of products or techniques for medical and industrial application. Although biotechnology in the broadest sense is not new, the current ability and demand for manipulating living organisms or their subcellular components to provide useful products, processes or services has reached new heights. Modern biotechnology has resulted from scientific scrutiny of old and familiar processes and from new advances in molecular biology, genetic engineering and fermentation technologies.
The future industrial landscape will continue to include research, development and the manufacturing of products such as proteins and nucleic acids that will be based wholly or in large part on biological processes.