Molecular Biotechnology is about the application of biological science at the molecular level. It is one of the most exciting and fast-growing fields of science, so much so that Time magazine called the 21st Century the 'Biotechnology Century'. Molecular Biotechnology is a fundamental component of modern biology. It is already used widely in manufacturing insulin for diabetics, vaccines, and a range of other biomedical products. In the future, these technologies will continue to advance in areas such as developing new treatments for diseases and biological solutions for environmental problems.
Molecular Biotechnology at Otago combines the right mix of sound scientific knowledge and commercial expertise for success in the emerging world of biotechnology. Students combine biochemistry, genetics, and microbiology papers and include a minor subject in a specialist area which can be in another branch of science or in commerce.
What career opportunities will this major enable?
International demand for well-trained molecular biotechnologists is enormous and increasing by the day. As opportunities in biotechnology in New Zealand continue to grow, particularly in healthcare innovation and the primary industries, emerging biotechnology companies are flourishing.
Graduates could find themselves cloning genes to identify new pharmaceuticals, or expressing commercially important proteins in recombinant systems, such as in new vaccines in bacterial, yeast, or animal cells. Or they may help develop identifying markers for beneficial traits in animals or diseases in humans, or work in areas like vaccine development, genomic analysis, or patenting. As well as employment in Crown Research Institutes, there are huge opportunities in the commercial sector.
What background is required?
There is some flexibility in entry requirements for Molecular Biotechnology, but clear passes in Year 13 Biology and Chemistry are needed. Entry into the second year is dependent on a good grade average in the first year course.
More information about studying Molecular Biotechnology
Professor Julian Eaton-Rye
Department of Biochemistry
Tel 64 3 479 7865