The Program for Applied Biotechnology Studies

Concentration Areas

The Program for Applied Biotechnology Studies Master of Biotechnology offers in-depth training in one of six technical disciplines detailed below.

Molecular Biology/Biochemistry

Innovation and development in the fields of industrial biochemistry and molecular biology have yielded many important applications to benefit mankind. For example, industrial biochemists and molecular biologists are involved with many critical aspects of the drug discovery and development process, including the identification of therapeutic targets, isolation and screening of novel therapeutic agents, and assessing the molecular interactions of these in vitro and in vivo. They are key players in solving medical problems at the molecular level. Students enrolled in the concentration in molecular biology/biochemistry will receive training in the fundamental principles and techniques associated with drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. This concentration area is suited for students that have a background in biology, biochemistry, physics or engineering.

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemists are employed in all aspects of chemical research in the biotechnology sector, and their work comprises the foundation of the basic operations of the biotechnology industry, including drug discovery, manufacturing, and quality assurance and control practices. The analytical chemist is involved in basic laboratory research, process and product development, and analytic instrument design, and provides support in marketing and intellectual property evaluation. Students enrolled in the concentration in analytical chemistry have an option to receive training in the fundamental principles and techniques employed by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, including drug discovery and development, process development and validation, or in total quality management in manufacturing. This concentration area is best suited for students that have a strong background in chemistry and analytical chemistry.


Biomedical engineering for medical devices utilizes traditional engineering expertise to analyze and solve problems in biology and medicine. From nano-devices to artificial organs, biomedical device engineering encompasses a wide variety of applications and holds a tremendous potential for therapeutics development in the future. Students enrolled in the concentration in engineering will receive training in the technical areas related to bioinstrumentation and biomaterials. They also receive training in technical aspects of the regulatory and business environments associated with the clinical development and approval of medical devices. This concentration is well suited for students that have an engineering background.


The businesses of biotechnology, medical devices and molecular diagnostics are varied and complex. The bright promises of advances in micro- and nano-devices and discoveries from genomics and proteomics are balanced by a dwindling drug development pipeline and increased competition from generics. Individuals who have a solid foundation in both management and in technology are needed to address the business and management requirements of life science industries. Students enrolled in the concentration in business receive training in analysis of biotechnology market trends, identification of strategic development opportunities, and business risk management. The PABS Professional Science Master's program provides excellent preparation for the future managers of the biotechnology sector. This concentration area is best suited for students that have an educational or practical background in business.


Bioinformatics utilizes pattern recognition algorithms to identify biological or clinical patterns in large amounts of data. Professional work is generally grouped into algorithm development, software engineering and systems biology. Since data mining continues to produce vast amounts of data and many new opportunities for therapeutics development, professionals in the area of bioinformatics are in high demand. Students enrolled in the concentration in informatics/biomathematics will receive training in the theory and methods associated with their choice of one of the above three areas, with a focus on industrial applications. This concentration area is best suited to students that have an educational background in mathematics or computer science.

Regulatory Affairs

The pharmaceutical industry is the most regulated of all industries, and regulatory affairs, quality assurance and clinical trials personnel are critical in managing these requirements. In this science-based concentration, students receive training in the fundamentals of FDA regulations surrounding the new drug development process. Students enrolled in the Concentration in Regulatory Affairs also receive training in statistics, preclinical and clinical trial design, data management and current Good Clinical Practice (cGCP). Concepts and practices in quality assurance and quality control also will be discussed. This concentration is suited for students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds.

Last Updated: May 29, 2014