Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology Research in Medicine
What is biotechnology? “Biotechnology … is medical research today” is the simple answer given by Prof. Robert Gallo, a leading HIV researcher, during his meeting with our students that followed the presentation of his honorary degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies.
The discovery that the information required for the development of living beings lies in the double-helix of DNA and the understanding of the mechanisms that allow this information to be translated into cell functions has revolutionised biomedical research, opening up previously unthinkable clinical, diagnostic and pharmaceutical prospects.
Today’s pioneering research is based to a great extent on biotechnological approaches for the molecular characterisation of physiological and pathological processes. Human genome sequencing and the identification of the abnormal genes that cause a great many illnesses has enabled the development of novel gene therapy and cell replacement strategies (use of stem cells). Additionally, the advent of genetic engineering has allowed the development of innovative targeted medicinal products, by fine-tuning biological assays able to identify chemical compounds capable of interfering with cell functions and the production of biologically-active molecules that cannot be prepared using conventional chemical or biochemical processes.
The biotech industry has developed primarily in the United States where, over the last decade, it has doubled in size and currently represents one of the economic sectors with the greatest recruitment capacity for highly-qualified individuals. The situation is different in Europe, where certain countries have succeeded in keeping up with development in the biotech sector, whilst others, including Italy, have been unable to exploit their potential and have been left behind. According to studies conducted by Unioncamera Lombardia and Bocconi University, this gap is due to the lack of a close connection between universities and industry. At this time, when the development of ideas and know-how are the driving force of a modern economy, the symbiosis between the academic and industrial sectors is the key to progress for the whole of society. Our Bachelor’s degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies and Master’s degree in Medical, Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology were established to favour this ideal relationship of mutual exchange between the academic world and Industry, in which the concepts and results of research can lead to the foundation of new businesses and in which new technologies and industrial strategies are taught and discussed in lecture theatres and seminar rooms.