The Individualized Track allows for selection of biotechnology graduate courses to construct a curriculum that is specifically designed for students’ interest and career focus. Elective courses can be chosen from BioBusiness, BioScience, Drug Design and Discovery or Industrial Sciences Tracks. Students can also select elective courses offered in other programs at Georgetown University. For the second semester, students can transfer to other tracks.

Degree Requirements:

Business Core

6 Credits

BIOT-509: Introduction to the Biotechnology Industry

Credits: 3; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None.

The course will cover in-depth various aspects of the Biotechnology Industry. Emphasis will focus on established Biotechnology and BioPharma companies. Topics covered will include intellectual property, products and their market shares, and career opportunities in Biotechnology. Contributions will be made from senior scientists from academia, and business managers from the biotechnology industry and government agencies.

BIOT-510: Entrepreneurial Biotechnology

Credits: 3; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites:  BIOT-509, BIOT-520 & BIOT-523.

This course gives an introduction to problems and opportunities of start-up biotechnology companies and provides in-depth look at starting a biotechnology company to exit strategies for investors. Students will develop and report assigned case studies based on their ideas for start up biotechnology companies. Contributions will be made from senior venture capitalists, industrial scientists and business managers.

Science Core

8 Credits

BCHB-507, 508: Laboratory Applications of Biotechnology

Credits: 3; Semester: Fall, Spring; Prerequisites: None

This is a comprehensive hands-on, laboratory-based course that introduces students to core techniques such as electrophoretic analysis of nucleic acids and proteins, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Southern and Western blotting, ELISA, protein purification, tissue culture, DNA cloning, cell culture and Bioinformatics.

BCHB-513: Core Concepts of Biochemistry

Credits: 4; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

This is a survey course of core topics in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology, with emphasis on applications to biotechnology.

BCHB-514, 515: Introduction to Bioinformatics

Credits: 1; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

The sequencing of the human genome that was completed in 2001 and the explosion of ”omic data” has accelerated our understanding of basic genetics and how we think of biology. We are now in the “omic” era of molecular biology that has given birth to the new field of Bioinformatics. All this data can be used meaningfully for biological and clinical research only if we can extract the relevant functional information from them and convert biological data into knowledge of biological systems. Fortunately, by using bioinformatics we can make headway in understanding and extracting relevant biological information from these sequences. The aim of this course is to introduce the various tools and resources that are available as applicable to biomedical research. This course is highly experiential with both lectures and “hands-on” sessions.

Regulatory Science Core

1 Credit

BIOT-543: Current Good Laboratory and Manufacturing Practices (cGLMP)

Credits: 1 credit Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: Basic background in Biochemistry and/or Biotechnology

This course is designed to familiarize students with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), Current Good Laboratory Practices (cGLP), and the regulations that guide the manufacture of FDA-approved biopharmaceutical and biotechnology products.

Capstone

4 Credits

BIOT-502: Biotechnology Industry Internship

Credits: 4; Semester: Fall, Spring or Summer; Prerequisites: BIOT-590 Introduction to Biotechnology Internship

This is the capstone course in which students will be working to pursue defined objectives in companies in the biotechnology industry and agencies and institutions in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Internships can be in basic research, business functions, industrial and biomedical sciences or intellectual property.

Required Non-credit Courses

3 Courses

BCHB-539 Basic Laboratory Safety

Credits: 0; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

This is a required course for any student who will be in a course with a lab component.

BCHB-554 Research Ethics & Integrity

Credits: 0; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course will review scientific ethics and integrity, plagiarism and how to submit documents to SafeAssign as well as other program specific ethical issues.

BIOT-590 Introduction to Biotechnology Internship

Credits: 0; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course will prepare and guide Biotechnology students for Internship (BIOT-502) and inform them of the search process.

Electives

11 credits minimum

BioBusiness

BIOT-512 International Biotechnology

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course will cover the finance, business, intellectual property and marketing aspects of International Biotechnology. Countries covered are United States, Western Europe, China, India, and South America.

BIOT-520: Financial Matrix for Biotechnology

Credits: 1; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: BIOT-509 & BIOT 523 Concurrently

The course focuses on the importance of financials and how it directs various aspects of a biotechnology company. Emphasis will be on the basics of accounting and establishing a company budget.

BIOT-523: Intellectual Property

Credits: 2; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

The course provides an opportunity for students to learn about intellectual property rights and their uses in biotechnology. Topics addressed include: rights conferred by different types of intellectual property; the uses of biotechnology patents; determining "patentability," interpreting the rights conferred by a patent; the patent-granting system in the US and elsewhere, patent costs and values; and the post grant processes for enforcing and challenging US patents.

BIOT-550 Management Strategies for Biotech Companies

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: BIOT-509, BIOT 520 &  BIOT 523 

The complex, multi-disciplinary nature of the biotechnology industry requires that managers develop effective strategies for key aspects of their business. This course examines how biotechnology company executives approach strategic issues that are critical to their firm’s success: Developing pipeline assets, making portfolio investment decisions, creating a culture of high-performing individuals and cross-functional teams, and ensuring supply of clinical and commercial product while continually driving process innovation.

BIOT-551 Commercialization for the Biotechnology Industry

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: BIOT-509, BIOT 520 &  BIOT 523. BIOT-510 Concurrently.

The course will provide an overview of the commercialization process for complex biologics. It will focus on the key tools, analytics, strategies and tactics that apply in healthcare sales and marketing. By the end of the course students will have a basic understanding of the following: The role of Commercial Operations in a biopharmaceutical company; The relationship between marketing, sales, commercial operations and managed markets; How commercial operations impact research and development as early as Candidate Drug nomination; The differences in promoting medicines versus consumer goods; How technology drives disease awareness and product choice by educating the provider and patient communities.

BIOT-552 Marketing Applications in Biotechnology

Credits: 1; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

Discovery drives the life science industry but how value is determined in the inventor’s laboratory can be different than in the marketplace. The role of marketing allows for the value of a product to be described in terms of the customer. The value of that product is key to projecting sales, obtaining investments, finding partners and launching the product. This course provides an introduction to the strategic and tactical considerations employed by marketing to create customer value. Students will be exposed to basic marketing and sales concepts with examples that draw from participants and situations in the life science industry. The course provides an approach for understanding the marketplace as a basis for developing, pricing, promoting and distributing products and services that satisfy customer needs.

BIOT-555: Government Science & Technology Management

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

Our Federal Government has an important regulatory role regarding how biotechnology companies maintain their viability, as well as how taxpayer dollars are distributed such that humanity benefits from scientific research in tangible ways. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), for example, is responsible for the distribution of nearly $30 billion in financial support for research, clinical trials and many other health-related activities. Guest speakers from other agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and United States Patent and Trademark Office are also invited to share their perspectives. Our guest speakers will share information regarding career opportunities and tell us how they arrived at their current positions. *US Citizenship or Residency Required

BIOT-566 Drug Development: Discovery to Post Approval

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: BIOT-509, BIOT-520, & BIOT-523. BIOT-510-Concurrently.

A one credit course delivered over two weekends and 14 hours of class time. 2 assignments covering two of the segments of development. No textbook. Assignments and research from a rich public domain. Instructor will guide students in research and provide relevant articles, cases and personal experience.

BIOT-568 Principles of Business Development |

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

This one credit course is specifically designed for Biotechnology M.S. degree students. This course is designed to be taken with BIOT-502 Biotechnology Internship. Students will be prepared to pursue internships in various aspects of business development. Permission of instructor required.

BIOT-643 FDA Case Studies

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: BIOT-509, BIOT 543

To work in the pharmaceutical industry, familiarity with the Federal Regulations that govern the field is required. Final drug product regulations from 21 CFR 211, otherwise known as the current Good Manufacturing Practices and other regulations, will be covered using real-life examples from the pharmaceutical industry. Current hot topics and FDA areas of concern will be highlighted.

BIOT-801 Project & Portfolio Management

Credits: 1; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

Biopharmaceutical companies frequently face a strategic dilemma – too many potential projects and not enough resources to pursue them all. This course will provide students with an overview of the key analyses, processes and decisions companies take to optimize their portfolio of product development projects. It will draw from real-world examples and incorporate industry professionals as guest lecturers, and students will gain “hands on” experience from simulations and small group project teams.

BioScience

BIOT-516 Molecular Medicine

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course provides students with an overview of the entire Drug Development process, from inception of discovery to the final marketed product and review of the principles underlying preclinical and clinical development of new therapeutic drugs and procedures. Presentations will describe and evaluate specific examples, and discussions to include regulatory, financial and ethical regulations that apply to Drug Development.

BCHB-519: Medical Toxicology

Credits: 2; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

This course will introduce students to the foundational concepts of Toxicology and Pharmacology. Topics to be discussed will include major classifications of toxicants and drugs as they relate to organ systems or major pathophysiological disease effects such substances are likely to engender. Toxic substances in Foods, Water and Medicines will be discussed as well as in Industrial chemical substances that can be encountered in environments at work, home and at leisure.
This course has a lab component.

BCHB-522: Drug Targets and Drug Design

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive background in the history of pharmacology and therapeutics leading to the current theory and practice of drug design and basic pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics concepts that drive it. An understanding of fundamental biological and biotechnological concepts required to assess current and future approaches to drug discovery along the "critical path" from basic biomedical research to identification of cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease, drug targets, and rational design and high throughput screening of drug candidates will be gained.

BCHB-525: Immunobiotechnology

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

Immunobiotechnology introduces students to applications of immunology and immunochemistry in biotechnology. The applications range from antibodies as tools in Over-The-Counter and research immunoassays to genetic and molecular modifications of cells reactive in cancer immunotherapy. The immunological and immunochemical basis for these applications are stressed.

BCHB-526: Core Methods of Biotechnology

Credits: 3; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course introduces students to scientific methodologies of biotechnology and biochemistry. Topics include analysis, purification, and quantification of nucleic acids and proteins, PCR and qPCR applications, DNA microarrays, next generation sequencing, basic and advanced cloning techniques, protein-protein interactions, molecular diagnostics, protein and nucleic acid therapeutics, molecular vaccines, bionanotechnology, plant biotechnology, and product development.

BIOT-527 Food Biotechnology

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

The Food Biotechnology course provides an introduction to the fascinating field of biotechnology and its role in the food industry. With broad-brush strokes, it covers many facets of the world of foods, which is very diverse yet very personal to all of us. The topics covered relate to food ingredients, fermentations, bioterrorism, FDA regulations, rapid detection techniques of food born pathogens, chemical senses, nutrigenomics and nutraceuticals. Laboratory component is provided as part of the course.

BCHB-529 Biotechnology-Based Human Diagnostics

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: BCHB-513 or Equivalent

This lecture and laboratory course is designed to introduce concepts of biotechnology as they relate to medical applications for human diagnostics. Areas of emphasis will include diagnostic tests for cancer, genetic diseases and the detection of infectious agents. Laboratory experiments emphasize in-situ hybridization, immunology and immunohistochemistry.

BCHB-531 DNA Repair and Human Therapy

Credits: 1; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: Some background knowledge and/or familiarity with molecular biology and genetics through either formal coursework or tutorials will be helpful in understanding course material.

DNA repair and human therapy will focus on the innovative and rapidly expanding field of gene editing and genome engineering as molecular medicine for human therapeutics. Our focus will be on the historical development of the current tools being advanced toward clinical application and how these tools will be used to treat inherited disease, infectious disease and cancer. Through a series of weekly readings and websites that will augment lecture material, the concepts surrounding this form of gene therapy will be discussed.

BCHB-535: Programmed Cell Death

Credits: 2; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

This lecture and laboratory course familiarizes students with different pathways leading to apoptosis and their importance in development as well as in diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Ischemia.

BCHB-536: Applications of Cell Culture in Biotechnology and Medicine

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

This lecture and laboratory course examines the uses of cell culture techniques for the study of diverse topics in life sciences, including Molecular Biology, Toxicology, and Pharmacology as well as other applications in biotechnology.

BCHB-537: Fermentation and Bioprocessing

Credits: 3; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: Permission of the Instructor

This is an intense hands-on course that will cover various aspects of fermentation and bioprocessing. Students will use bioreactors to grow cells for purification of different biologics.

BCHB-541: Structural Biology

Credits: 3; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

The goal of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules. Students will learn about molecular structure determination techniques as well as the biological relevance of molecular structure-function relationships. Lectures are given by renowned experts in the field. As part of the course, students will explore structures of proteins implicated in human diseases. The final project will be in collaboration with the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB) at Rutgers University.

BCHB-545: Essentials of Programmed Cell Death

Credits: 1; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

This lecture course familiarizes students with different pathways leading to apoptosis and their importance in development as well as in diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Ischemia.

BCHB-546: Principles of Tissue Culture

Credits: 1 credit Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

This lecture course examines the uses of cell culture techniques for the study of diverse topics in life sciences, including Molecular Biology, Toxicology, and Pharmacology as well as other applications in biotechnology.

BIOT-559 New Frontiers in Biotechnology

Credits: 1; Semester: Fall; Prerequisites: None

This course will examine new technologies and ways to license them from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A majority of the presentations will be teleconferenced.

BCHB-607,608: Research Applications of Biotechnology

Credits: 3; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

This course will give students an opportunity to expand their Biotechnology Laboratory Skills beyond the basic level introduced in BCHB-507. Students will apply common biotechnology techniques used in research. They will also receive “hands on” experience in advanced laboratory techniques that includes gene cloning, protein expression and purification, protein assays, cell culture, flow cytometry, qPCR and ELISA.

BIOT-610: 3D Culture and Drug Discovery

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; None

3-dimensional (3D) cell culture system is an important study model in drug discovery pipeline for its better mimicry of cellular microenvironment in vivo. This course will introduce students to essential cell culture concepts and techniques. In particular, it will focus on hands-on laboratory training of spheroid culture from tumor cells and organoid culture from primary cells. Different 3D culture techniques will be introduced including scaffold based and non-scaffold based. High throughput drug toxicity screening will be performed to examine effects in tumor proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion. Students will be exposed to the biomedical assays to screen for personalized medicine.

BIOT-612 LLNL Summer Internship; Prerequisites: BIOT-502 Biotech Industry Internship

0 credit Semester: Summer

The opportunity to be a Georgetown University Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (GU/LLNL) Summer Scholar in Livermore, CA is available only to fall MS in Biotechnology students who have successfully completed their first internship (BIOT-502) in spring. This 10-week fulltime internship culminates in a poster symposium at LLNL in early August. Internship projects are available in research labs as well as the Industrial Partnerships Office. Selection of students is done in January and is based on GPA and career goals. By Invitation Only.

BCHB-707: Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry & Molecular Cell Biology

Credits: 2; Semester: Spring; Prerequisites: None

Course will develop the student’s ability to analyze and perform independent, laboratorybased research in preparation for academic, government or private sector positions in biomedical science. Students will use mammalian cell culture to master modern experimental techniques such as co-immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, immunoprecipitation and cell migration assays. The course will teach students how to troubleshoot experiments as well as learn how to prepare data generated in the laboratory for presentation or peer-review journal publication.

Additional Courses

Not included in the 30-credit degree requirement

BIOT-700 Scientific & Presentation English

Credits: 1*; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

This course involves development and enhancement of the ability to write and revise a scientific poster presentation. Instruction regarding data organization, scientific grammar and vocabulary will be emphasized.
*Credit NOT included in the 30-credit degree requirement;

BIOT-703 Conversational English

Credits: 1*; Semester: Fall or Spring; Prerequisites: None

This Conversational English course allows you to practice simple conversational techniques that will give you confidence when meeting and greeting people using the English language as well as reviewing basic auxiliary verbs, main verbs, adjectives and open questions. It is ideal for those who want to improve their basic conversational English and will help learners on their way to becoming more confident when communicating during employment interviews and course presentations.
*Credit NOT included in the 30-credit degree requirement;