Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Biotechnology/Molecular Sciences

Overview

Biotechnologists obtain knowledge about organisms at the molecular level and use this knowledge to solve problems in human health and medicine, pharmaceu­ticals, forensics, agriculture, food technology, forestry and wildlife management, the environment, veteri­nary medicine and the fight against bioterrorism.

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Biotechnology at Jefferson

As an academic health center in the biotechnology hotbed of Philadelphia, Jefferson gives students an advantage. Resources include research faculty whose specific expertise is in biotech and world-class biomedical research facilities. Enjoy access to Kimmel Cancer Center, patient care divisions and a variety of research centers throughout the University.

Students learn specific technical and problem-solving skills required for biomedical settings such as laboratory techniques, management methods and medical research competencies. This foundation prepares technologists to participate in and contribute to the design, research, development and pre-clinical testing of diagnostic and therapeutic agents, methods, and systems for health care.

Gain classroom, laboratory and practical experience in five areas:

  • immunology, immunochemistry and immunodiagnostics
  • recombinant dna and related molecular biologic techniques
  • cell sorting, flow cytometry and digital imaging techniques
  • protein chemistry, molecular modeling and chromatographic techniques
  • cell and tissue culture

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Outcomes

The job placement rates are very high for biotech graduates, due to significant expansion of the biotechnology field in medical and commercial settings. Nearly 100% of our graduates are currently employed and/or attending graduate school.

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Career Options

A Jefferson degree prepares students for jobs in academic, pharmaceutical, forensics or government laboratories; molecular diagnostics research; quality control; bioprocessing; sales or marketing.

Research

Use recombinant DNA technology and protein modeling to develop new drugs without the toxic side effects of traditional drug therapies. A research biotechnologist may also oversee the work of research associates and laboratory assistants.

Medicine

Separate DNA from nuclei, cut and separate it by size on filters and analyze the results to detect mutations that cause genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease.

Forensics

Analyze blood, skin, urine or hair from a crime scene. Separate DNA from cell nuclei and generate visual images of these segments to help identify suspects.

Imaging Technology

Refine computer and digital imaging systems to demonstrate molecular structures or cell morphology, develop substances which identify specific antigen-antibody reactions or harvest and grow individual cell lines (clones) for use in manufacturing pharmaceutical agents.

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Certification

National certification in a specialty area of laboratory practice is not only proof of knowledge and competence in a field; it demonstrates value-added expertise that employers seek today. Visit the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification for more information.

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