Biotechnology and Bioinformatics have the ability to combine biological sciences and innovative technologies to create or evolve novel processes or novel products beneficial for human welfare. Until few years ago academicians trained in traditional disciplines of biological sciences were specializing in biotechnology and thus meeting the demands of both academia and industry. However, tremendous advancements in biology over the past half century- from Watson and Crick’s elucidation of the structure of DNA to today’s astonishing, rapid progress in the field of synthetic biology- the design, engineering, construction and production of synthetic cell factories, a need has been felt that educational programmes be launched to educate and train youth in biotechnology and bioinformatics. The need of initiating educational programmes in biotechnology and bioinformatics can be gauged from the fact that the global biotech industry is pegged at $54 billion and is growing currently 17 percent annually. In contrast, India’s biotech industry is worth $1.4 billion which is around 2 percent of the global revenues. However, the Indian biotech market is growing at a scorching pace of 36.5 percent per annum which is one of the highest in the world today. India ranks among the top 10 biotech hubs of the world and can join the elite club of top 5 biotech hubs, should it achieve the $5 billion mark by 2020. India is expected to become a significant global player by 2020. Thus a “Highly Skilled Manpower is the Need of Hour”. However, barring a handful of colleges, the biotech educational programmes are run in India by institutions without adequate and appropriate infrastructure facilities. We at the Sambalpur University have come up with state of the art infrastructure with a vision to produce technologists appropriately trained in biotechnology and bioinformatics, not merely degree holders. The M.Sc Biotechnology and M.Sc Bioinformatics were offering in a self financing mode in the School of Life Sciences sine 2002 and 2006, respectively. In reference to Syndicate resolution (No. 111, dated 23.09.2016) and Office Order (No. 9285/Estt-III, dated 07.12.2016), The Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics in Sambalpur University started functioning from December, 2016 as an Autonomous Department under self financing mode with a mandate of closing the gap existing between curriculum and the market demand. The Department has honoured us as one of the best education institutions in the country for doing outstanding research and education due to its strong R&D program, up-to-date educational curricula, modern laboratory infrastructure and highly qualified faculty.
The Department presently offers various programmes as follows:
- M.Sc Biotechnology- A two-year degree program (Intake strength: 16 students per year)
- M.Sc. Bioinformatics- A two-year degree program (Intake strength: 16 students per year)
- M.Phil. Biotechnology- A one-year degree program (Intake strength: 08 students per year)
- Ph.D. Biotechnology
- Ph.D. Bioinformatics
Vision of the Department
To produce Biotechnology and Bioinformatics professionals with leadership quality in technology, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Mission of the Department
1: To provide state of the art outcome-based teaching/learning practices
2: To develop a research-based education model in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
3: To provide advanced theoretical and practical training in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics with a particular specialization to produce high quality professionals.
Curriculum designed with a broad knowledge base
The Department imparts education to equip students with modern skills compatible to the needs of industry, academia, government and non-government organizations. Keeping in view the interdisciplinary nature of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, the curricula have been designed with broad knowledge base, encompassing courses from fundamental sciences (biology, mathematics, physics), computer science & engineering, humanities, in addition to core courses in biotechnology and bioinformatics. The curriculum has been specially designed to include the prescribed syllabus of CSIR, GATE, BCIL, BINC and ASRB to make the students globally competitive. Project-based learning is an integral part of all curricular programmes.
Following the completion of M.Sc in Biotechnology and M.Sc in Bioinformatics the students will have attained:
- An ability to conceptualize challenging research projects.
- An ability to pursue research in any specialized area of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
- An ability to formulate a strategic plan to solve any research problem.
- An ability to pursue independent career in education.
- An ability to undertake entrepreneurship by starting a Biotech or Bioinformatics company.
- An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering and computing tools necessary for engineering practice.
- An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
The students with degree in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics will have an edge in starting a career in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics or Pharmaceutical industry for having advanced courses in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics as well as enough exposure to project work. The rigorous projects work enables them to work more of thinkers and planners who have the experience, competence and vision to identify a problem and design the required approach to solve it. The M.Sc graduates are highly preferred by the industries because of their maturity and competence in technical skills.
The Department is actively involved in research by having the distinction of running externally funded R & D projects from various Govt. of India agencies such as the Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science & Technology, DRDO, ICMR and UGC. To form a nucleus for promoting excellent quality of research work in related fields, the Department desiring to club the expertise, resources and laboratory facilities available by signing MOU with VSS Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Pollution control Board, ICZMP and with other leading institutes to provide a platform for broad based collaboration. Following are our major research thrusts:
- Development of diagnostics for various diseases and pathogens
- Rational drug development (natural and synthetic) for therapeutic application
- Formulation and Product development from plant sources for therapeutic application
- Infectious diseases- diagnostics and anti-microbial resistance
- Bioprospecting of novel genes and metabolites from bioresources
- Landscape genetics of plants of Odisha coast to measure the impact of climate change
- Genetic characterization and DNA barcoding of plants
- Genetic improvement of indigenous medicinal herbs
- Plant cell cultures for rapid multiplication and production of phytochemicals
- Bioremediation of contaminants, solid municipal waste, etc.
- Industrial enzymes: bioprospecting, genome mining and protein engineering
- Optimization, up-scaling and life-cycle analysis of bioprocesses
- Landscape genetics, genetic characterization and DNA barcoding of animals
- Evaluation of therapeutic efficacy of compounds using animal models
- Development of Bioinformatics tools and algorithms for analysis of biological data
- Protein modelling and computer aided drug design
- Clinical dataware house development and mining