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History

Establishment, development and profile of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology.

The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology was established in 2000 according to the Presidential Decree 82/2000 and belongs to the School of Health Sciences, along with the Faculty of Medicine , Faculty of Nursing , Faculty of Public and Integrated Health , and, Departments of Veterinary Science and Department of Physiotherapy  of the University of Thessaly. The administration of the Department and the organization and development of the undergraduate course of studies were financially supported by the Reconstruction Programs EPEAEK I and EPEAEK II, managed by the European Union and the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.

The first undergraduate students were enrolled in 2000. Today, there are over 700 undergraduate and 180 postgraduate students as well as 57 PhD students, while over 700 undergraduates and 500 postgraduates have graduated with 56 PhD awarded, contributing significantly to the opening of access to Higher Education. The members of the Department through comprehensive evaluations and interactions with relevant institutions improve and reinforce the Department in order to provide integrated and high quality education.

This is the first Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology in Greece. In a century which will be marked by developments in methodological approaches, focusing on the analysis and understanding of the role of genetic material and the biochemical mechanisms underlying its translation into functional molecules as well as the implications of the astonishing potential of genetic material directed modification on a chemical level, the Department is asked to supply the Greek society with scientists highly qualified to comprehend and consolidate the wide range of possibilities for the fields of biochemistry and biotechnology in order to address the demands these new technologies impose.

 

 

In Greece, unlike other European countries, investments in biotechnological enterprises are infrequent and one of the reasons is lack of specialized biotechnologists. Training such scientists will cover a gap in the labor market. The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology aspires to offer high-level scientific training and hopes to create a generation of scientists, from the early stages of their training, able to comprehend the demands and problems of the productive Greek enterprises or organizations related to the subject. The Department aims to the prompt and effective updating of its undergraduates, as an integral part of the teaching procedure, of the rapid developing scientific fields such as Biochemistry, Biotechnology, and Genetic Engineering. As the labor environment gets more and more competitive, graduates of the Department should be able to offer pioneering and fast solutions to the country’s production problems highly contributing to the competitiveness of the Greek economy.

The Department, as the first one in Greece in the areas of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, is commissioned to create a high quality, by international standards, curriculum integrated to the demands and priorities of the Greek economy.

 

The Department has developed active collaborations with national and international scientific Institutions, while it has been funded through numerous research grants contributing significantly in basic and applied research with numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals. In parallel, the Department contributes dynamically to the development of the Thessaly region through innovative research programs and specialized services in collaboration to private sector of Thessaly with emphasis to agro-food sector. The Department coordinates of the first in Greece research infrastructure in Synthetic Biology in Agro-Food (www.omic-engine.com).

The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology offers five programs of postgraduate studies (MSc) in : i) Biotechnology-Quality Assessment in Nutrition and the Environment, ii) Applications of Molecular Biology –Molecular Diagnostics –Genetic markers, iii)Toxicology, iv) Bioentrepreneurship, v) Advanced Experimental and Computational Biosciences.

 

The MSc studies programs aim to provide respectively expertise in i) development and application of biotechnological methods and state of the art techniques for the management and protection of environment as well as monitoring of food quality along the food chain, ii) methodologies of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Cellular Biology and Genetics and their application in cancer, infectious diseases, genetic diseases as well as traceability of GMOs, iii) the applied toxicology and protection of health of workers and consumers as well as the evaluation of bioactivity of toxic substances, iv) the connection of academic training with companies in entrepreneurial applications of biotechnology (in scientific areas of pharmaceuticals, food and nutrition, environmental biotechnology, molecular and biochemical diagnostics) and organization, management and administration of entrepreneurship units and v) the development of research skills of students in order to follow a PhD program or work in research institutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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