Biotechnology is an applied and interdisciplinary science that has many applications in human life. One of the important applications of biotechnology is its role in the production of biologic drugs or biopharmaceuticals. Nowadays, pharmaceutical biotechnology is considered as a most appealing branch of biotechnology field. Pharmaceutical biotechnology combines pharmacology and biotechnology sciences and involves in a wide range of domains from design and production of recombinant vaccines to the pharmaceutical raw materials production and new therapeutic systems, such as gene therapy or cell therapy and/or stem cells therapy.
Considering the critical role of biotechnology in modern pharmaceutical sciences and its importance in the pharmacy education, the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Department of MUI located at pharmacy school was established in 2003. Since 2007, Ph.D. students have been educated and trained in the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology, which includes a comprehensive set of educational and research activities providing an efficient human resource for academic, research and industrial sectors. On average, two students are admitted to Ph.D. in pharmaceutical biotechnology in each academic year.
Currently, the department has 5 full-time faculty members and 3 highly-experienced laboratory staffs in education and research. The Department’s faculty members are enrolled in teaching of 11 credits in Pharm.D. Program, 6 credit in MSc courses and about 25 credits of Ph.D. courses. The Department has 3 research and educational laboratories equipped with appropriate facilities for pharmacy students and Ph.D. students, including cell culture laboratory, molecular biotechnology lab, and recombinant protein production lab.
Educational and research activities of the members result in completing many approved research projects, publishing many scientific articles in national and international journals, patenting the new biotechnological products and approaches, supervising and guiding many Pharm.D. or Ph.D. thesis, as well as participation in many national and international congresses. Additionally, until now, three books were published by the faculty members that can use as reference books for students.
Some undergoing activities in biotechnology department have been summarized as:
• Including the interdisciplinary field of biotechnology in the pharmacy education and research.
• Supplying a steady stream of highly competent pharmaceutical biotechnology graduates according to our country’s need.
• Taking part in developing new knowledge and expertise in the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology.
• Cell culture
• Molecular biotechnology
• Recombinant protein production