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Biotechnology Major

The Biotechnology major is a 4-year interdisciplinary major leading to the B.S. degree.  The major is housed in the Biology Department but operates in cooperation with the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, and the Department of Chemistry.  

As outlined below and in the official catalog, Biotechnology majors must complete 47-53 credit hours of science foundation courses, 17 credit hours of biotechnology transition and core courses, and 15 credit hours of elective courses.  With the advice and approval of the adviser, each student selects the courses for his or her electives. Three broad areas of focus are suggested to serve a spectrum of student needs and desires:

A research focus will prepare students for graduate school or entry into a research laboratory.

An industry focus will prepare students for entry into the biotechnology industry.

A custom focus can be assembled for a specialized area of study such as bioinformatics, genomics or agricultural biotechnology.

Course Checklist for Major in Biotechnology

Faculty

Name

Department

Research Interests

Marta Bechtel -- Program Director

Biology

Molecular mechanisms associated with wound healing and tissue repair

Christopher Berndsen

Chemistry

The effects of post-translational modification of protein lysine residues on cellular function

Tim Bloss

Biology

Mechanisms of cell death in development and disease

Steve Cresawn

Biology

Production and characterization of recombinant proteins

Janet Daniel

Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of glucose transport

Amanda Biesecker

ISAT

Virology, viral pathogenesis, and vaccine design

Susan Halsell

Biology

Genetics and molecular biology of cell development

Jim Herrick

Biology

Horizontal gene transfer, plasmids, microbial genomics, metagenomics

Chris Lantz

Biology

Parasitology and immunology

Gina MacDonald

Chemistry

Biochemistry of nucleotide binding proteins

Robert McKown

ISAT

Genetic engineering, recombinant protein production

Debbie Mohler 

Chemistry

Biochemistry of DNA and protein structure

Jonathan Monroe

Biology

Biochemistry and molecular biology of plant beta-amylases 

Terrie Rife

Biology

Molecular biology of nitric oxide synthase

Kyle Seifert

Biology

Molecular biology of surface antigens of Group B Streptococci

Kim Slekar

Biology

Genetics and molecular biology of anti-oxidant genes in yeast

Stephanie Stockwell

ISAT

Genetic and molecular host-bacterial interactions

Louise Temple

ISAT

Microbial pathogenesis, genomics

Linette Watkins

Chemistry

Biodegradation pathways, bacterial desulfurization of fossil fuels

Nathan Wright

Chemistry

Protein structure/function relationships

Major Curriculum

Foundation courses

Biology core courses (BIO 114, 124, 214 and 224)

16

General Chemistry (CHEM 131, 131L, 132, 132L)

8

Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341, 342, 346L)

8

Physics (PHY 125, 126 or 140, 140L, 150, 150L)

8

Calculus (MATH 231 and 232, or 235)

4-8

Statistics (Math 220 or 285)

3-4

Transition courses

Biotechnology seminar (BIOT 260)

1

Biotechnology Lab (ISAT 305)

1

Biochemistry (CHEM /BIO 361, 366L)

5

Molecular Biology (BIO 480)

4

Biotechnology in Industry and Agriculture (ISAT 451)

3

Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Biotechnology (ISAT 456)

3

Elective courses

See your advisor

15

Capstone experience

Independent research or Honors thesis (ISAT 493, BIO 497 or BIO/ISAT 499) is highly recommended.