The field of Biotechnology and Biosciences has witnessed extraordinary developments in areas like Molecular and Cellular Biology, Functional and Comparative Genomics, Computational and Systems Biology and Synthetic Biology, Upstream and Downstream Processing, Molecular Bioengineering, Biosystems Engineering and Nanobiotechnology. The Integrative Biology approach is addressing biological question(s) by integrating holistic (genome wide; omics-) approaches with in depth functional analyses and computational biology (modeling). Bioprocess engineers are engaged in solving industrial bottlenecks and developing methods to support biologically-based manufacturing. All these developments are continuously challenging scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative products, processes and services to improve quality of life, advance health and promote sustainability. The training of human resources specialized in modern Biotechnology and Biosciences is an imperative if society is to benefit from discoveries taking place in academia and research centres and to foster a sustainable growth of the biotechnology market.
The BIOTECnico PhD program is designed to prepare a new breed of creative researchers to translate basic bioscience discoveries into technological innovations in the fields of Industrial, Agro-Food, Health and Environmental Biotechnology. The program is aligned with the research developed by faculty and researchers of the Department of Bioengineering at IST, with the Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Research Groups of IST/iBB, and with other IST-associated centers in the Biotechnology field.
The program is geared towards contributing to: i) foster the use of biotherapeutics, diagnostics and gene-based therapies and exploit discoveries in the field of microbiology and infection, ii) solve industrial bottlenecks and develop bioprocess engineering methodologies to support biologically-based manufacturing, iii) lead to novel, more efficient and cleaner biotechnological processes, iv) increase sustainability by saving energy and improving biofuel production, v) improve food production and safety and vi) assess toxicity, uncover toxicity mechanisms and reduce environmental toxic footprints.
The program is anchored in two tracks: Biological Sciences and Biochemical Engineering. The Biological Sciences track offers an in-depth understanding of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Molecular and Microbial Biotechnology, with emphasis on Functional and Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics and the exploitation of Integrative Microbiology and Systems and Synthetic Biology approaches. The Biochemical Engineering track offers education in areas like Biocatalysis, Molecular and Bioprocess Engineering, Downstream Processing, Nanobiotechnology with a focus on harnessing biomolecular and cellular processes, and mastering key enabling technologies in order to develop innovative products and more efficient/sustainable processes. The program will also contribute to the development of the necessary skills for entrepreneurship in the Biotechnology field. This includes innovation, leadership, problem-solving and communication, needed to create or join leadership teams in innovative companies in the Biotechnology field. Furthermore, the study cycle encourages and promotes the development of skills such as autonomy, critical and analytical thinking, creativity, time management and teamwork.