M. Tech. (Biotechnology)

Overview

Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses, utilizing these products for manufacturing purpose,and use of genetic engineering techniques. It is the most modern and high in demand technology today. Lots of development are undergoing in biotechnology to facilitate the livelihood of the present generation. Red biotechnology, White biotechnology and and Green biotechnology are some of the examples of world's successful technological revolutions that have established biotechnology as separate field.

In view to follow, the world's trends of biotechnology and develop the biotechnology manpower and henceforth initiate the biotechnology industry in Nepal, Kathmandu University has started B. Tech program in 2003, and five batches of students are now in market and getting good response from the industries and academic institutions within the country and abroad. With these in mind, we are enthusiastic to start M.Tech program in the Department of Biotechnology.

Objective:

The major objectives of this program are:

  1. To produce high quality manpower for the country's own requirement.
  2. To generate manpower that can be equally qualified and compatible with international demand, so that they can have international recognition.
  3. To train the student in an interactive way in accordance with the country's industries.
  4. To develop entrepreneurship in biotechnology that can encourage the students to create their own job.

Course duration and major field of study:

M. Tech. (Biotechnology) program will have duration of 2 years. A student needs to complete 52 credits of taught course, which includes a dissertation of 9 credits in the final semester. Student's research topic will be assigned by the respective supervisors considering that the research is important to the country and the research can accelerate the biotechnology based industries in Nepal. Some students can also be sent to abroad laboratories to give them more exposure in their area of research work. Identical areas such as Agriculture, Food and medicine will be offered as specialization course

The aim of the program is to train the students in high level theoretical knowledge which enables them to tackle complex practical problems of development in the industrial fields as well as pursue further academic achievements through research. Enough flexibility is provided in the structure of the program in respect of lecture courses, laboratory and dissertation to help students to achieve the above mentioned aim. The department is well equipped with sufficient facilities for this purpose.

Eligibility:

The candidate shall possess Bachelors degree of Kathmandu University with a minimum CGPA of 2.5 or equivalent 4 years bachelors degree of any other University recognized by Kathmandu University.

Examination:

There shall be in-semester and end-semester examination in semester-I, II, III and evaluation of Dissertation work in semester Iv. Certified copies of the Dissertation shall be submitted by the candidate at the end of semester IV, followed by a successful defense of the Dissertation.

Grading mode:

In each course, student will be evaluated on a 4-point scale as follows:

Evaluation System

Dissertation

A dissertation in topic connected with a student's special discipline is a necessary requirement for the successful completion of Master level degree. The candidate must indicate an ability to express oneself in a satisfactory style.

Normally the dissertation should be submitted at the end of the fourth semester. However, upon the recommendation of the supervisor and the Department, and subject to the approval of the Dean only one term extension of six months can be granted.

The student will receive a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade and must have a satisfactory grade to qualify.

To graduate at Master Level a student must achieve the following:

  • Completion of all course requirements of first, second and third semester with not less than C grade in each course.
  • A cumulative grade point average(CGPA) of at least 3.0
  • Completion of dissertation at satisfactory level.

Course Curriculum

Course Outline

BIOT551 Advanced Cell Biology and Genetics (3 Cr)

This subject is concerned with the cellular nature of biological material and students engage in processes of scientific inquiry in cell biology and genetics. The subject introduces the student to the basic concepts of cell biology, cell structure and function and the underlying genetic code. The subject covers the structure and properties of cell membranes and transport across them, as well as the chemical changes (both synthetic and degradative) that occur in cells and the ways which cells obtain, store and manipulate energy. Processes of cell communication, including cell recognition and adhesion, and the ways in which cells respond to external signals are also covered. In addition, they will be familiarizing with classical to modern genetics and their application.

Cell growth and division along with stages of the cell cycle and key molecules and mechanisms involved in its regulation, along with mitosis and meiosis are discussed. The topics of cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis (programmed cell death) are covered. In this subject student learn to undertake the scientific peer review process.

BIOT552 Advanced Molecular Biology (3 Cr)

The course objective is to consider a few topics in Molecular Biology in depth. Topics are chosen by the teaching faculty and generally represent active areas of their current research. The course also requires reading primary research papers for discussion. This unit aims to provide an in depth understanding of different topics in molecular biology. The topics include the structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins. At the end of the course, students should be able to answer questions like how gene and protein function is regulated in eukaryotic organisms, how genetic changes alter gene function, how alterations in gene function cause disease and how changes in gene function correlate to morphological changes during evolution.

This course should be able to explain organization of genetic material and the entire DNA metabolism like replication, damage and repair mechanism of DNA and methods like gene amplification. Process like transcription and translation in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are covered. Finally, the students should be able to understand the regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

BIOT553 Advanced Biochemistry (3 Cr)

The course aims to provide an advanced understanding of the core principles and topics of Biochemistry and their experimental basis, and to enable students to acquire a specialised knowledge and understanding of enzyme catalysis mechanism and kinetics. They should also know how different metabolic process works and how defect in any could lead to dreadful diseases. By the end of the course, the students should be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding in cell signaling, bioenergetics, protein and metabolism, genetic regulation at DNA level and different techniques to elucidate structure of DNA and protein. Further, this course should depict an idea how to determine the 3D structure of biomolecules using NMR, MS and X-ray crystallography.

BIOT554 Microbial Biotechnology (3 Cr)

The course focuses on the development of microbial use in traditional fermentation processes, strain selection and development of recombinant microbes for industrial, commercial, environmental, pharmaceutical and medical applications.

The course introduces current advances in bacteriology, mycology and virology. This covers from industrial applications, environmental application of microbes to microbial quality control and assurance in biotechnology products. In addition topics include the use of microbes in recombinant DNA technology, protein production in prokaryotes, fermentation technology and its applications in medical microbiology.

Students are expected to be able to describe the underlying principles of bacterial genetics, the importance of extra chromosomal elements and their role in antibiotic resistance; discuss the role of the microbiologist in industrial fermentations, describe the use of microorganisms in biotechnology and some industrial processes; describe the role of microorganisms in a number of areas of applied microbiology including sewage and wastewater treatment, biological control.

BIOT555 Advanced Immunology (3 Cr)

As a comprehensive core course in immunology, the topics include a broad but intensive examination of the cells and molecules on the immune system. Special attention is given to the experimental approaches that led to the general principles of immunology. In addition, original research articles from fields including immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell and developmental biology will be critically analyzed in an intensive small group format. This course discusses the mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of primary human immunodeficiencies and selected human autoimmune diseases.

Successful students will be able to describe the function of the major components of the immune system in health and disease. They should be able to explain common immune diseases in terms of the underlying basic principles. This course also aims to give a detail overview on cytokines and monoclonal antibody production. Finally, new generation antibodies will be explained through this course. Other components of the course include Immunoregulation and apoptosis, Flow cytrometry: Principle, Instrumentation and application, Tumor immunity.

BIOT556 Bioinstrumentation (3 Cr)

Bioinstrumentation applications are emphasized in this laboratory-based course. Electronic instruments from sensor to computer are considered. Static and dynamic characteristics of components and systems are examined theoretically and empirically. General analog and digital signal condition circuits are designed, constructed, and tested. A variety of biological applications of instrumentation are discussed.

Students should apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering to be able to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data. After the completion of course students are expected to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs and identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.

BIOT557 Genetic Engineering (3 Cr)

The course is organized in lectures and laboratory practice and its aim is giving to student’s basic knowledge for construction and use of cloning and expression vectors containing recombinant DNA in prokaryotic and eukaryotic system. Special attention will be directed to study biological systems utilized for the large scale production of recombinant proteins, focusing on advantages and disadvantages of each system, to allow students to evaluate and solve problems related to the expression of recombinant proteins. Furthermore, during the course, the major applications of genetic engineering in biotechnology will be presented, to let the student understand the power and the potential hazards of the acquired technical skills. The laboratory practice will be organized as short research program.

After the course the student should: (a) have acquired the theoretical and practical skills necessary to construct and use recombinant DNA molecules and vectors, for the isolation characterization and expression of genes; (b) know the most common vectors used for cloning and producing recombinant proteins; (c) decide, according to different use/source of recombinant proteins, which biological system is optimal for expression; (d) evaluate the advantages and risks in the use of genetic engineering in different biotechnological fields.

BIOT 558 Advanced Environmental Biotechnology (3 Cr)

Environmental biotechnology utilizes microorganisms to improve environmental quality. These improvements include treatment of contaminated waters and wastewaters, clean up of industrial waste streams, and remediation of soils contaminated with hazardous and toxic chemicals. Environmental biotechnology is essential to society and truly important as a technical discipline.

Environmental biotechnology is historic and eminently modern. Microbiological treatment technologies developed at the beginning of the twentieth century, such as trickling filtration, activated sludge and anaerobic digestions remain the mainstays today. In recent years, new technologies are constantly introduced that address very contemporary problems such as detoxification of hazardous chemicals, environmental biomonitoring, and microbial genetic engineering for bioremediation of air, water, and soil.

BIOT559 Advanced Bioinformatics (3 Cr)

This course provides an introduction to the analysis of biological data using computational methods, as well as investigating problems in molecular and biology from a computational perspective.

The students should be able to develop an understanding of the basic principles of molecular and cell biology. They should become familiar with existing tools and resources for computational analysis of biological data, including sequences, phylogenies, microarrays, ontologies, and biomolecular interactions. This course also aims to develop an awareness of the computational problems that arise in the modeling and analysis of living systems. The students should be able to understand basic abstractions and computational approaches used to formulate and address these problems and be able to use and extend existing computational infrastructure for analysing biological data.

BIOT560 Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology & IPR (3 Cr)

The objective of the course is to make students learn about the legal, safety and public policy issues raised due to the rapid progress in Biotechnology and development of new products. The biotechnology students suppose to understand and follow the regulatory framework important for the product safety and benefit for the society. The students are given case history to discuss and express their views.

At the end of the course, it is expected that students have understood the basic issues of Biosafety, Bioethics and IPR.It is expected that they will be more confidant to practice and implement all these policies in their future endeavored course and provides knowledge needed to develop a realistic and feasible business idea. The course considers the essential criteria for the development of ideas, strategies and models for business justified by market needs, competitor analysis, business communication and marketing, profiling and branding.

BIOT561 Research Methodology and Biostatistics (3 Cr)

The Research Methodology and Biostatistics course is designed to impart basic skills in research methods and biostatistics. These skills will be needed to design and conduct good quality research. We cover types of data, their summarization, exploration and explanation. Also, we look at concepts of probability and their role in explaining uncertainty. We end with coverage of inference applied to means, proportions, regression coefficients and contingency tables.

At the end of the course, the students should be able to explain different research methodologies, understand the concepts of Biostatistics, understand the results of simple statistical tests, identify the appropriate statistical test for a given study design and type of data, understand common pitfalls in biological statistics.

BIOT571 Advanced Industrial Biotechnology (3 Cr)

The objective of the course is to create general understanding amongst the students in the subject of Industrial Biotechnology through in-depth lectures & laboratory practical. The objective of the course is to understand them a general overview, concepts and basic Principles in the subject of Industrial Biotechnology with emphasis on how to apply the knowledge in bio processing engineering.

At the end of the semester, it is expected that students understood the basic principles of engineering knowledge to solve a critical problem. It is expected that they will be more confident to use the knowledge in pursuing Bioprocess knowledge in industrial biotechnological application. Student should know the principles behind Isolation, preservation and improvement of industrial microorganisms. The course further includes screening for new Metabolites. The topics like Biosensors and Single Cell Protein along with newer approach to sewage treatment are included in the course.

BIOT572 Functional Food Science and Technology (3 Cr)

The objective of the course is to familiarize the students with advanced research area and basic concept in Food Biotechnology. At the end of the course, the students will have sufficient scientific understanding of different types of biotechnological methods to improve the value of different food and new techniques used in Food Biotechnology.

The course content is mainly divided in the introductory phase which compares between traditional and new concepts in nutrition, and discusses about international developments and FAO/WHO initiatives in functional foods. Scientific basis of functional foods is also presented in the course which includes Proteins, peptides and amino acids: vegetable proteins and peptides, animal proteins and peptides, microbial proteins and polymers, amino acids, amino acid-related substances. This course also focuses on the biomolecules like sugar, lipids, cholesterol, carbohydrate, antioxidants and fiber. The course finally talks about fermented foods and functional food and their impact in human health.

BIOT573 Advanced Food Processing Technology (3 Cr)

The objective of the course is to familiarize the students with advanced research area and basic concept in Food processing. At the end of the course, the students will have sufficient scientific understanding of different types of biotechnological methods to improve the value of different food and new techniques used in Food processing.

The course includes the status of food processing industry in Nepal; basic principles and status of indigenous fermentation processes and industries in Nepal; principles of cold storage and refrigeration of foods, recrystallization, thermal processing of foods, application of heat energy for food preservation and processing,; and application of enzymes in food processes (juice extraction, juice clarification, bread manufacturing, ice cream manufacturing, newer concepts in food processing (organic foods, processing of organic raw material, genetically modified foods.

BIOT576 Advanced Agricultural Biotechnology (3 Cr)

This subject is mainly concerned with seed plant biotechnology where qualitative and quantitative improvement in economically important seed plants is taught. The course also includes biological control of Disease and Integrated Pest Management. A very exciting part of this course is covered in Molecular Farming: Plants as a bioreactor Production of, Pigments, Perfume, Flavors, Insecticides, anticancer agents, Vaccines, Antibodies, Recombinant protein, Industrial proteins and Enzymes, Biopolymers, Future prospects. Students are also expected to understand the concept of Molecular Breeding which covers areas like concept and methodology of different types of molecular markers; Marker assisted selection; QTL mapping, Targeted PCR & sequencing, Fingerprinting, Marker assisted selection, Crop improvement and gene targeting.

BIOT577 Advanced Plant Pathology (3 Cr)

Advance Plant Pathology is a course that offers a broad introduction to plant diseases and the organisms that cause them. The material focuses on the four interacting factors necessary for disease to occur: the pathogen, the host, the environment, and time. With knowledge of these factors, you will begin to understand the nature of plant disease epidemics and how to manage them.

The major objective of the course is to introduce students to the basic principles and concepts of plant pathology, introduce and illustrate the major groups of organisms that cause plant diseases. This course enhances student's understanding of scientific research, especially as it applies to the science of plant pathology and the study of microorganisms and improves the written and oral communication skills of students through class, group and individual projects.

BIOT578 Advanced Plant Tissue Culture (3 Cr)

This course will develop the graduate capabilities of knowledge ability, comprehension and applications of plants in cell and tissue culture systems, and how cell and tissue culture contributes to global sustainability. It will also develop the practical skills and confidence of students to successfully culture plant cells and tissues.

The course content is divided into introductory portion where major definitions, cell and tissue culture techniques to produce novel plant and hybrids and Plant Cell and Tissue Culture: Basic concepts of Tissue culture are included. Later, the course teaches how to commercialize application of tissue culture technology of rice, Citrus, banana, potato, bamboo, apple, Cardamom, Turmeric and Sugarcane. Students are expected to understand Plant transformation Technology and application of plant tissue culture in agriculture & crop improvement, forestry, MAPs, industries, NTFPs, conservation of biodiversity.

BIOT581 Advanced Cell Culture Techniques (3Cr)

This advance course is designed to provide students with training in cell culture techniques widely used in modern research laboratories and bio-industries. Students will be trained to grow animal cells which are directly applicable to human and other mammalian cells. In addition, students are well introduced with the aseptic technique that should be applied during cell culture. The course is particularly useful if student wish to undertake a project in cell or tissue culture and it is assessed purely by the course work they produce throughout the semester.

This course aims to provide training in the design and use of cell culture facilities and to develop experience in basic cell culture techniques. At the end of the course students should be familiar with safety and bioethics terms. They should be able to perform recombinant DNA technology and cell line development.

BIOT582 Medical Biotechnology (3Cr)

The purpose of this course is to provide a broad overview of the methods and strategies of biotechnology for medicinal applications including drug discovery. Major emphasis will be placed on describing therapeutic concepts and how they are developed from the discovery of a molecular target for drugs, to the use of disease models to test the pharmaceutical agents. The course covers many aspects of biotechnology, including aspects of molecular pharmacology, gene therapy, and drug safety evaluation. This course also introduces analytical methods as applied to experimental design and quantitative analysis of data encountered in biotechnology and biomedical sciences. At the end of the course students should be able to explain neuro developmental\degenerative disorders and cancer biology. They should be able to work in molecular diagnostics and develop PCR and related molecular methods for detection of diseases.

BIOT583 Stem Cell Technology (3 Cr)

This course introduces fundamental concepts in stem cell biology and approaches to control and examine stem cell phenotypes, especially as they pertain to principles required for stem cell bioprocessing. In addition, course provides the knowledge and instruction on current bioreactor technologies and to promote critical thinking and discussion on the development of novel stem cell bioreactors and bioprocesses. However, fundamental knowledge for the biomanufacturing of stem cells is also transferred to students under this course.

At the end of the course students are expected to understand and discuss new and relevant advances in stem cell technology, communicate with other all areas of stem cell research ranging from fundamental biological and medical principles to novel applications in biotechnology and human disease, identify the problems associated with growing, storing and identifying a wide range of different cell types and plant tissues, describe how cell culture can be used for in vitro studies and commercial applications and articulate the conceptual basis and ethical issues surrounding stem cell research.