Biotechnology Course Descriptions

Note: Not all biotechnology courses are offered every semester, and new courses may be added at any time. Check the schedule of classes for the latest offerings.

BTEC 653: Principles of Upstream Processing [3]

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.Prerequisite: Sufficient knowledge in microbiology/biology/molecular biology/biochemistry or permission of instructor (3 credits)

BTEC 654: Capstone [3]

This seminar-style, capstone course is an in-depth exploration of emerging technologies, innovations, and new products that are noteworthy to the biotechnology industry. Each student will select an emerging technology within the biotechnology sector and prepare a research plan designed to bring that technology to commercial fruition. The students will give oral presentations on the technology that builds the case for the envisioned product. In addition, each student will prepare an SBIR grant application composed of the technical and commercialization plans for their invention. Students will also be expected to read the scientific literature in preparation for each of their classmates’ presentations with the goal of being sufficiently knowledgeable to participate in a scientific discussion. The objective of the course is to give the student insight into the process of translating scientific discovery into innovative products. Prerequisite: BTEC 653

BTEC 655: Emerging Topics in Biotechnology [3]

This seminar-style course is an in-depth exploration of emerging technologies, innovations, and new products that are noteworthy to the biotechnology industry. The course focuses on examining and critiquing what new scientific discoveries will likely impact the industry and in what ways. Literature research expands and deepens the student’s understanding of key fields within the life science area and allows the student to gain more in-depth knowledge on subjects that are relevant to their careers. Oral presentation and written papers help to refine the student’s communications skills. BTEC 655 is a required course of the M.P.S.: Biotechnology. Prerequisite: BTEC 675 Business Principals of the Biotechnology Industry

BTEC 656: Experimental Design [3]

This course introduces the basic concepts which underlie the design of experiments. The use of statistical methods to discriminate between real effects (those caused by changes in controlled variables) and experimental error in systems which are inherently noisy are taught. Statistically designed experimental programs which can help test many variables simultaneously are very efficient tools for developing empirical mathematical models which accurately describe physical and chemical processes. These techniques are readily applied to production plant, pilot plant and laboratory systems, and should be a part of every practicing life science professional’s repertoire. At the end of this course, the student will be able to select an appropriate experimental design for the problem at hand, to set up, conduct and analyze the results of statistically designed experiments, and to understand the statistical basis for these techniques.

BTEC 658: Principles of Downstream Processing [3]

Bioseparation is the process of fractionating and purifying biological materials: DNA, proteins, living cells, antibiotics, biofuels, food ingredients, biochemical among others. This course covers separation methods used in the biotechnology industry, principles governing these methods, approaches to improving bioseparation performance, and the special challenges of scale-up. Key topics include techniques such as centrifugation, filtration, extraction, membrane methods, liquid-liquid separations, chromatography and electrophoresis. Prerequisite: BTEC 675 (The Business of Biotech)

BTEC 659: Fundamentals of Industrial Bioprocessing [3]

Introduction to the principals of industrial biotechnology. This course focuses on the interaction of chemical engineering, biochemistry, and microbiology for the production of commercial products. Key topics include process development design, risk assessment, an introduction to quality systems and product design.

BTEC/ENCH 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.

BTEC/ENCH 662: Good Manufacturing Practices for Bioprocesses [3]

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.

BTEC/ENCH 664: Quality Control & Quality Assurance for Biotechnology
Products [3]

In depth study of quality control measures and the analytical tools used to monitor bioprocesses and establish and monitor product specifications. The course aims to provide the student with working knowledge of product finishing techniques, design of stability studies, identification of degradation pathways and the use of statistical analyses.

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.

BTEC/ENCH 666: Biotechnology GMP Facility Design, Construction and Validation [3]

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.

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 675: Business of Biotechnology [3]

BTEC 675 is an overview of the life science industry, current and future trends. In depth discussions of the relationship between science and business and the process by which biotech products are designed, developed and brought to market. Text suggestion: Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Leading and Managing Biotech Companies by Craig Shimasaki. This text offers a comprehensive thesis on the workings of the biotechnology industry.

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 682: Drug Discovery to Markets [3]

BTEC 681 is a comprehensive study of the scientific and commercial practices used to deliver healthcare products to the market. Commercial development timelines are long and expensive, manufacturing is complex, and products are subjected to regulatory scrutiny to protect safety of users. The new IT revolution has empowered biotechnology and has reduced the time and cost of the product development process, providing biotechnology products with market advantages and ability to meet public needs and market demands faster and less costly than other suppliers can. This course aims to introduce students to the biotechnology industry in healthcare, in the area of medical devices. Topics covered will focus on assessment of market needs, and product discovery and development to meet those needs. Students will learn the whole process from generating an idea, elaborating a concept, and producing a prototype to a medical device product. Topics will also include manufacturing, market research, regulatory issues, and financing. Each student will deliver an oral presentation and submit a written project in the format of an SBIR Phase-1 grant application. Gaining new knowledge, skills and abilities will help students to advance in their current positions, or to transition to a new career that involves biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals and/or universities, public health and/or governmental agencies.

BTEC 681 is a required course of the M.P.S. Healthcare Certificate and is the first course taken in that certificate program.

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

This hybrid course offers an overview of innovation and its role in entrepreneurial ventures, both new companies and within existing corporations. Additionally, the basics of entrepreneurship with specific emphasis on technology-based business start-up will be investigated. For the purposes of this course, technologies include IT, engineering, and biotech. The course will cover where to find innovative ideas and how to determine if a business idea is feasible along with a high-level discussion of the critical success factors in new venture start up. Students will develop a venture opportunity as a tool to learn the mechanics of company formation.

BTEC 699: Professional Bioscience Experience [3]

The Professional Bioscience Experience course is an internship or independent study with an organization that is engaged in activities relevant to the life science industry. The course is intended to give the student the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a biotechnology-related area and is taken in conjunction with participation in the Professional Experience Program offered by the MPS in Biotechnology Program. The opportunity engages the student in a professional capacity where the student is mentored by a working professional in the industry. The level of effort is expected to be required between 15 and 30 hours per week depending on the sponsoring organization.