2 - University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
of Life Sciences
blue talent Factory
Being one of the premier
institutes for pursuing postgraduation and research in biotechnology,
UoH’s school of life sciences aims to disseminate
and advance biotech knowledge by providing instructional and research
facilities that fit corporate needs.
School of Life Sciences at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) is ranked
second in this year’s survey. It is also ranked second in the
faculty and industry interaction score.
Admission to MSc biotechnology program is done through JNU joint
entrance examination. The department has more than 44 faculty members,
with 27 of being PhD holders and having more than five years of work
experience. The biotechnology department has an excellent record of 46
national publications and 191 international publications to its credit.
The school has multiple state-of-the-art laboratories for teaching and
research in biology and biotechnology. It has invested Rs 3.60 crore
for the year 2007-09. Students have access to advanced facilities like
proteomics, genomics, bioinformatics and high-resolution microscopic
facilities. Every teaching laboratory is equipped with sophisticated
basic equipment for molecular and cell biology experiments, including
culture, fermentation, proteomics and genomics. School of Life Sciences
has the distinction of receiving the first-of-its-kind special funding
from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, in the
form of Center for Research and Education in Biology and Biotechnology.
It has also received Rs 14.78 crore of government funded projects and
Rs 9 lakh of industry-funded project between 2007-09. Research program
of one of the faculty members is a part of the center of excellence on
tuberculosis research funded by DBT to the tune of more than Rs 20
crore. Among other notable projects are, nanotechnology-based drug
development under DST-sponsored nanotechnology initiative worth Rs 20
crore; DBT-sponsored project on development of peptide-based HIV
therapeutics for Rs 90 lakh. Several other projects are funded by DST,
DBT and ICMR with funding ranging from Rs 25-50 lakh each.
Recently, an Indo-US project on development of curcumin as HIV
microbicide has been granted with a support of Rs 50 lakh to Indian
The school offers seven post-graduate courses in biotechnology that
include MSc in biotechnology, animal biotechnology, plant biology and
biotechnology, MTech. in medical biotechnology and bioinformatics,
integrated MSc in systems biology and also PhD program in
biotechnology. About 160 students undergo training in the above courses
every year. The candidates are selected on the basis of the very
stringent criteria and procedures from amongst the applications
received at an enviable average ratio of 1:150. The percentage of PG
students from UoH, qualifying for their higher education at national
level exams is quite high. For instance, seven out of 11 MSc
biotechnology students, who appeared for the CSIR/NET exam in December
2008 were declared qualified. Many passed-out students from UoH are
given admission into PhD programs in top universities elsewhere in the
world. The school takes special interest to facilitate career
opportunity for the students and invites various major companies like
Biocon, Indian Immunologicals, Dr. Reddy’s Labs and TCS, for
conducting placement interviews.
The biotech department has 50 faculty members with a wide range of
experience in India and abroad, spanning a spectrum of research topics
in frontier areas of biology and biotechnology. The entire
faculty is successful in obtaining generous funding from multiple
national and international agencies.
are oriented in the profession of their interest”
—Prof. Anand K
Kondapi, head, Department of Biotechnology, University of Hyderabad
What are the unique
features of the biotech department?
Biotechnology department has its focus on molecular diagnosis and
therapeutic development against infectious and neurodegenerative
diseases. Faculty members in the department have already gained some
leads in these areas of research as it is evident from their high
impact publications. The department with a mixture of experimental and
theoretical scientists working together in the interface research
areas, to help in understanding molecular basis of disease that in turn
lead to discovery of targets in disease progression.
What are the new
modules you have added to align your education with industry needs?
The department has added remedial courses on basic mathematics,
communication skills, IPR and biosafety, bioentrepreneurship and
electives like protein engineering and protein folding, molecular
therapeutics, stem cell biology, evolutionary genetics, vaccines,
computational biology, industrial and food biotechnology for MSc
Can you tell us about the research projects that students or faculties
have initiated at the biotechnology department?
MSc students are working on various projects that include technologies
like, molecular cloning expression, protein purifications including
nanoparticle development, stem cell biology and understanding protein
structure and function using NMR. Research projects of the faculties
are funded by various national and international agencies like DBT,
DST, India-US, Indo-German program; include biology of tuberculosis,
HIV, stem cells, ribosome structure and function etc. with an aim to
develop therapeutics and drug delivery.
What are the
initiatives taken by the institute to familiarize the students with the
The university is associated with conducting industry event BioAsia
every year, where students are encouraged to participate in innovative
project development as well as to interact with technocrats from
industry. The university also conducts short visits to industry and
experts from industry are involved in teaching lab-oriented courses
such as bioprocess engineering and technology, and transgenic
development. In addition, the department encourages the students to
undergo summer training at the industries of their choice.
What percentage of
your students on an average get placements in biotech companies after
post-graduation and how many prefer to go for higher studies?
Students are oriented in the profession of their interest, in either
research or in industry. Accordingly they have been mentored to place
themselves for JRF test, advanced education aboard and in industrial
What are your views
on the current talent crunch in the biotech industry?
There is a need for innovative and application-oriented project
development to be implemented through cooperation between industry and
academic institutions. It would be also useful to devise a training
program particularly aimed at helping technical assistants, who could
be absorbed in industry. This will enrich the
industry-oriented skills and promote knowledge and innovation.