The BioTechnology Institute (BTI) provides advanced research, training, and university-industry interaction in biological process technology, a major area of biotechnology research. The Institute is the central University of Minnesota vehicle for coordinated research in the biological, chemical, and engineering aspects of biotechnology and home to the President's Initiative on Biocatalysis.
Conducting Innovative and Relevant Research
BTI faculty conduct research over a broad spectrum of disciplines, including microbial physiology, metabolic pathway engineering, genetics and cell biology, functional genomics, animal cell culture, biodegradation of hazardous materials, molecular evolution, biological diversity, green chemistry, natural product synthesis, protein engineering, and the development of biofuels and biopolymers from renewable resources.
Providing Professional Training
Since 1990, the Institute has been the recipient of the prestigious NIH Training Grant in Biotechnology. This grant has provided financial support to graduate students completing degrees in biochemistry, microbiology, chemical engineering, chemistry, genetics, computer science, biomedical engineering, plant sciences, mathematics, health informatics, and electrical engineering. Many of these graduates have gone on to complete a Ph.D.
Reflecting its cross-disciplinary nature, the Institute offers a Master of Science degree in Microbial Engineering. This program is favorably regarded by industry as a source of highly trained individuals familiar with both the biological sciences and engineering.
A resource for Industry
In addition to the faculty laboratories, the Institute has established the Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC), a process scale pilot plant unique in the state, which is accessible to industrial and academic scientists for collaborative and contract research. The BioTechnology Institute also coordinates an active industrial outreach program which sponsors short courses and mini-symposia.