Keiser University

Exploring Biotechnology

Posted on April 1, 2014

By M. Jordan Smith

Biotechnology conjures a futuristic, science-fiction image of laboratory workers in white coats, but biotechnology encompasses a much broader spectrum. Its roots can be traced back hundreds of years and its fingers dip into copious fields ranging from agriculture (Green Biotech) to medicine and healthcare (Red Biotech) to aquaculture (Blue Biotech), bioterrorism (Black Biotech) and the aforementioned laboratory research (White Biotech). Because of its expansive nature, Biotechnology is a leading player in every industry and as such, those trained in Biotechnology will find the job market as diverse and rewarding as their studies.

Since Biotechnology is applicable in so many fields students can expect to learn from a broad range of categories including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and physiology. Students will take classes in biology to learn the anatomy and physiology of organisms and how those organisms function and adapt to their environment. Chemistry will guide students through the periodic table of elements and instruct on the basic building blocks of molecules to facilitate understanding of larger reactions like those of chemotherapy drugs in battling cancers. Study in physics will reveal how biotechnologists have created wondrous instruments from the microscope to MRIs. Integral to this field is hands-on experience; this will be achieved in a laboratory session for many classes in the above fields. Students will directly translate the knowledge they learn in the classroom to practical uses and experiences to prepare them for a career. Upon graduation a student can expect to understand how all of the relevant sciences fit together to form the mosaic that is biotechnology and be prepared to enter any realm of biotechnology.

Contemporary issues in Biotechnology are concerned with study, application, and adaptation of living systems for their beneficial uses. However, this main theme has been prevalent throughout the history of man. “The earliest period (of agriculture) 11,000BCE-8,300BCE has been described as the ‘agrotechnical phase,’ with finds of sickle blades, pestles, mortars, and storage pits, as well as some permanent settlements…developed to exploit wild crop plants.”(Hybrid, 18) Usage of these tools constitutes the first application of technology to living systems; it is our first evidence of biotechnology. With the advancements in technology, today the process of producing the best crops begins in the lab of a Biotechnologist. There is evidence of similar processes throughout history: the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, the development of vaccines by Edward Jenner in the 18th century followed by the invention of the Iron Lung in the battle against polio. These represent a small sampling of the many exciting developments resulting from a dedicated Biotechnologist. It is the expectation that modern Biotechnologists will build upon the rich history of the field to truly impact agriculture, aquaculture, medicine and laboratory science.

Trained Biotechnologists who studied at Universities in Florida have an excellent career outlook. The United States Department of Labor is projecting growth in employment of Life, Physical and Social Science occupations of 10% with some areas as high as 30%.1 Regardless of the subfield, biotechnologists can expect to find a career on the forefront of technology with ample opportunity for additional training and advancement.

 

M. Jordan Smith is currently a Graduate Admissions Counselor with Keiser University’s Graduate School in Tallahassee. He is a graduate of Florida State University’s nationally ranked College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the University of Florida’s prestigious College of Pharmacy. In addition to his work at Keiser University, Jordan has been mentoring STEM students preparing for Medical school for 8 years, and he is also an Advisor and Writer for Examkrackers, Inc. MCAT Test Prep series. Jordan’s spare time is consumed by reading and a personal fascination of world history.

The views and opinions expressed in this document are solely those of the contributing author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Keiser University and/or the Keiser University student body and staff.

 

References:

United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/biological-technicians.htm#tab-6

The Colours of Biotechnology. The Journal of Biotechnology. http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-biotechnology/news/the-colours-of-biotechnology/

Kinsburgy, Noel (2009) Hybrid: The History & Science of Plant Breeding, p18. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Reaser, Azure. (Fall 2002). Jobs In Biotechnology: Applying Old Sciences to New Discoveries. Occupational Outlook Quarterly. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2002/fall/art03.pdf

Comments

15

The Design program at Keiser University was filled with real world learning and hands on instruction… Based on the portfolio I created while a student at Keiser University, I landed a job in Graphic Design for a major online retailer immediately after graduation.

Ty Fitzgerald, Graphic Arts and Design Graduate

The year and a half I spent in the program better prepared me for attaining a job in the field…As a hands-on learner, the project-centered teaching was perfect for me.

Jackson Tejada, Graphic Arts and Design Graduate

Keiser University has given me the opportunity to embrace a career change… It has opened the door for a timely graduation and quick return to the work force…

Dale Caverly, Occupational Therapy Assistant Graduate

Without the education I received at Keiser University, I would not be where I am today!

Meisha Ebanks, R.N., Nursing Graduate

I not only received an excellent education but also encouragement and training that built my self-confidence every day.

Nidia Barrios, Medical Assisting Graduate

I realize the amount of knowledge I gained and feel that the educational experiences have developed me in to a person who can move higher up the career ladder.

Carlos Ramirez Flores, BA in Accounting Graduate

Keiser University’s MBA program has renewed my mind, changed the way I think, and given me a new sense of purpose.  The professors transformed my attitude and behavior, gave me the self-confidence I was lacking, and restored my energy.

Connie Sue Centrella, MBA Graduate

It has been great attending and graduating from Keiser University.  Because of the small class sizes, I was able to build good relationships with classmates and professors.  The PA professors care very much about the progress and success of the students and have been great advisors every step of the way through the program.

Annelise Merriner, PA-C, MS in Physician Assistant Graduate

Attending Keiser University and getting my degree was the best decision I have ever made.  The small class sizes and personalized attention helped me get my degree quickly.  The hands-on experience and the education landed me a job at a neighboring law firm.

Dedrick Saxon, Criminal Justice Graduate

I chose Keiser because it had everything—small classes, caring professors, hands-on learning, and counselors that are really there for you.  I feel like I’m part of a family here, not just a number.

Natalie Dou, Histotechnology Graduate

After being denied for several promotions at my current employer, I decided that I needed to further my education.  Since graduating from Keiser with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I have been promoted and I am able to obtain positions that weren’t available to me before.

Laurie Williams, BA in Business Administration Graduate

Keiser helped change my life by getting my education at the right school! I have been going to another school before, dropped out because I felt that I was not getting enough information that I need. When I found out about Keiser, I was pleased because the instructors were great.

Nadege Dor, Medical Assisting Graduate

My decision to attend Keiser University has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I chose to enroll in the Information Technology program… The one-class-a-month pace helped incredibly with my self-discipline.

Marla Hadley, Information Technology Graduate

The BA for Business Administration at Keiser has to be one of the best in the nation. Keiser takes the basics that are taught at the Associates level and uses them to strengthen your skills and knowledge.

Vivian R. Howard, BA in Business Administration Graduate

I found that Keiser University’s Nuclear Medicine program of advanced studies and small class size was a perfect fit. I never came across a faculty member who wasn’t truly interested.

Gustavo Gonzalez, Nuclear Medicine Technology Graduate