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Biotechnology

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Course Information

 

The MPS. Biotechnology is designed as an applied, terminal master’s degree that incorporates science, regulatory and management courses. The MPS curriculum includes 10 courses (30 credits) in three areas: Life Sciences, Bioregulatory Affairs and Management.
Life Sciences: 5 courses [15 credits]

These courses are offered in sequence starting in the fall semester of each academic year

Core Management Courses: 4 courses [12 credits]

Program Electives: 1 course [3 credits]


Course Descriptions

Life Science Courses:

BTEC 650: Applied Biochemistry [3]
This course will review the chemistry of living systems, with an emphasis on topics of biotechnological and biomedical interest. The course will also survey the methods used in modern biochemistry, so that students will be able to understand the connection between empirical data and the established facts and concepts presented in the course. The first part of the course will focus on the relationship between structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and membranes. Important chemical concepts relevant to these molecules and their components (amino acids, nucleotides, etc.), such as pH and weak chemical interactions, will be presented. After an introduction to enzyme kinetics, the course will concentrate on the principles and pathways of intermediary metabolism. The final topics will be concerned with informational biochemistry – DNA replication, recombination, repair, and transcription, as well as protein synthesis.

BTEC 651: Molecular and Cell Biology [3]
Prerequisite: BTEC 650 or equivalent course in biochemistry
This course explores the molecular basis of cell structure, organization, and function. Topics include genetic mechanisms (DNA replication, repair, and recombination, genome organization, and regulation of gene expression), internal cellular organization and activity (the cytoskeleton, membrane structure/function, cytoplasmic organelles, sorting to intracellular compartments, vesicular trafficking, and intracellular communication), cell growth and reproduction (the cell cycle and cell division), and cells in the context of the organism (cell junctions and adhesion, extracellular matrix, cell motility, and cell-cell signaling). An emphasis will be placed on experimental methods and strategies applied to molecular and cell biological investigations. Text and lecture materials will be supplemented with readings from the current literature, and significant class time will be allotted to discussions and student presentations.

BTEC 652: Molecular Biotechnology [3]
Prerequisite: BTEC 651 or permission of instructor
A lecture, discussion and project-based course that focuses on the molecular and genetic tools used to analyze and modify genetic material and used to modify organisms to produce desired small molecules and proteins. Topics will include the properties and uses of biotechnology-useful enzymes, sequencing techniques, PCR, cloning vectors and hosts, DNA and protein microarrays, directed mutagenesis, and the manipulation of expression (and its levels) of particular gene products. The experimental and model systems that will be studied include bacteria, yeast, plant, and higher mammals. Extensive use of the Internet’s resources and on-line journals will be also expected.

BTEC 653: Applied Bioprocess Engineering [3]
Prerequisite: BTEC 652 or permission of instructor
A chemical engineering course covering basic process engineering, from the milliliter to the kiloliter scale. Topics relevant to the commercial bioprocesses used in the food, pharmaceutical and waste treatment industries will be introduced. Both upstream processes (e.g., fermentation, cell growth, energetics, mass transfer and enzyme kinetics) and downstream processes (chromatographic separations, ultrafiltration, and waste treatment) will be covered.

BTEC 654: Emerging Topics in Biotechnology [3]
Prerequisite: BTEC 653
This seminar-style, capstone course is an in-depth exploration of emerging technologies, innovations, and new products that are noteworthy to the biotechnology industry. The first half of the course focuses on examining and critiquing what new scientific discoveries will likely impact the industry and in what ways. In the second half of the course, students, working in teams, will give written and oral presentations on case studies that attempt to predict products derived from the new innovations and discoveries. The objective of the course is to give the student insight into the process of translating scientific discovery into innovative products.

Bioregulatory Affairs Courses:

ENCH/BTEC 660: Regulatory Issues in Biotechnology [3]
This course provides a comprehensive coverage of all steps involved with the regulatory approval process for a biotechnology-derived product. Documentation preparation for IND, NDA, BLA. Pre-clinical safety data, clinical studies, facilities inspection and scientific and regulatory principles.

ENCH/BTEC 662: Good Manufacturing Practices for Bioprocesses [3]
This course provides an in-depth coverage of the development and implementation of good manufacturing practices (GMPs) in the biotech industry. Topics include building and facilities, equipment design, utilities, in-process controls, records and adequate process validation.

ENCH 664: Quality Control and Quality Assurance for Biotechnology Products [3]
This course presents in-depth coverage of the key issues associated with adequate quality-control systems, assays and stability for novel biotechnology products: quality concepts, product release testing and specifications, in-process testing, product characterization, quality assurance documentation and audits and vendor certification.

ENCH 666: Design, Construction, and Validation of GMP Biotechnology Facilities [3]
This course presents an in-depth discussion of the engineering design of a biotech facility under GMP compliance. Topics covered include bulk plant design, process equipment design, utilities, instrumentation, controls and computerization, facility and software validation.

Management Courses:

BTEC 665: Management, Leadership and Communication [3]
This course teaches the fundamentals of management and managerial leadership and communication. Managers juggle operations, finance, information technology, strategy, and projects, yet much of their success depends less on their own direct input than on their ability to enlist the active involvement of others: direct reports, other managers, other team members, and those above them on the organizational chart. It is imperative, therefore, that managers be adept at influencing those over whom they have no formal authority as well as guiding and directing those who report to them. No prerequisites.

BTEC 670: Legal & Ethical Issues in the Science Professions [3]
This course offers an overview of legal issues affecting biotechnology and other science-based industries and frames basic philosophical and ethical considerations regarding genetic data and manipulation. The course includes a discussion of intellectual property issues.

BTEC 680: Financial Management [3]
This course will cover the fundamentals of setting up, reading, and analyzing financial statements and reports in a business setting.  Course topics will include: project budgeting, profit planning, return on investment, and basic corporate finance. Students will analyze case studies from the specific industries.

BTEC 685: Project Management Fundamentals [3]
Students learn the fundamentals of managing projects in a systematic way. These fundamentals can be applied within any industry and work environment and will serve as the foundation for more specialized project management study. Principles and techniques are further reinforced through practical case studies and team projects in which students simulate project management processes and techniques.

BTEC 690: Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship [3]
This course offers an overview of innovation and its role in entrepreneurial ventures, both in new companies and within existing corporations. The basics of entrepreneurship with specific emphasis on technology-based business start-up are investigated. For the purposes of this course, technologies include IT, engineering and biotech. The course covers where to find innovative ideas and how to determine if a business idea is feasible along with an overview of the critical success factors in a new venture start-up.