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Master of Science in Translational Biotechnology

Science Masters Program in Translational Biotechnology

 

Program Description

The Science Master’s Program in Translational Biotechnology is a two-year thesis program that is interdisciplinary (biosciences and business), is research intensive, has deep industry involvement, and includes a formal internship at a company. Students will graduate with a major (Master of Science in Medical Sciences) and a minor in business administration (Graduate Business Minor). The Science Master’s Program in Translational Biotechnology has the support of the Provost, the Vice President for Research, and Deans of the Colleges of Medicine and Business Administration.

The Program is focused on applied and translational research. Translational Biotechnology includes drug/biologics/device product development, manufacturing process development, assay development, toxicology studies, quality systems (quality control and quality assurance), clinical trial support, and regulatory compliance. These activities are essential for testing new drugs/biologics/devices in humans and their subsequent commercialization. Translational Biotechnology activities are foundational for companies, and are increasingly gaining importance in the academic setting where new technologies are being tested in humans prior to entering the commercial sector. Courses incorporated into this unique Program encompass biotechnology science together with regulatory compliance and best business practices. Graduate courses in product development, regulatory compliance (cGMPs/GTPs/GLPs/GCPs), quality systems (Quality control and Quality Assurance), process development, analytical product testing, and biomanufacturing are essential topics for creating scientists capable of sustaining translational research and commercialization. Product development of biotechnological or biomedical products including biopharmaceuticals; diagnostic test materials; enzymes, antibodies, and other protein products; transgenic plants and animals; tissue and cellular products, and biomedical implants and devices requires that scientists have the knowledge to carefully complete procedures in compliance with foreign and domestic regulations. Other features of the program are the infusion of personal and professional skills (communication, documentation, teamwork, interviewing, work ethic, etc), ethics and responsible conduct of research, and international perspectives.

Education and training

A foundation of the Program is a high-quality research project under the direction of a skilled mentor, with supervision by a committee composed of members of the University’s Graduate Research Faculty. Specialization may be in any of the fields of research being pursued in the College of Medicine or local biotechnology company (in this case a UF faculty member will still mentor the student, and the supervisor at the company will participate on the student’s committee). During the first year of the Program students will enroll in lecture courses and the seminar course, and will begin working in a mentor’s laboratory. The content of the lecture courses is intended to address a need for a strong foundation in advanced level biology and chemistry that is applied to biotechnology and biomedical product development. Courses are available that bridge basic life sciences and applied research, and these have been brought together with courses in business. Both the seminar series and the lecture courses provide preparation for Master’s research which should be well underway by the end of the second semester. The second year of graduate study for the student is devoted to finishing the required courses and doing research. Students may also enroll in additional courses, according to their interests and backgrounds. Following the four semesters of coursework and research, the students will be placed into internships at Florida-based companies. Students will work together with Steering committee members to review available companies and associated projects, and a match will be made.

Degree Requirements:

Completion of the degree will require a total of 48 credit hours with 36 credit hours comprising biomedical coursework, laboratory research, and internship for the major and 12 hours of business coursework for the minor. Students will chose from several courses and course modules available at the COM within the scope of the Program (student course choices will be reviewed by the mentor, program coordinator, and program Director), and for the business courses, students choose six courses (2 credits each) from several options. These courses are taught in seven week blocks. The courses include: financial accounting, finance, economics, entrepreneurship, law, marketing, management, and operations. An example of a program of study is shown in the table below, and is not limited to the courses listed.

Example Curriculum (48 total credits).

FALL YEAR 1 (9 cr)

SPRING YEAR 1 (9 cr)

SUMMER YEAR 1 (6 cr)

GMS 6004 Intro lab  (2) GMS 7194 Seminar (1) GMS 6905 Research (3)
GMS 7194 Seminar (1) GMS 6506 Biol Devel (1) MAN 5246: Org Behavior (2)
GMS 7093 Intro Transln. Res (2) GMS 6905 Research (3)  GMS 5905 Writing (1)
GMS 6905 Research (2) MAN 5502: Operations Management(2)
ECP5702 Managerial Economics (2) MAR 5806: Methods in Marketing (2)

FALL YEAR 2 (9 cr)

SPRING YEAR 2 (9 cr)

SUMMER YEAR 2 (6 cr)

GMS 6893  Transln. Sci (2) GMS 7194 Seminar (1) Internship (3)
GMS 7194 Seminar (1) GMS 6841 Transln Desgn / Analysis (3)  STA 6166 Statistics (3)
GMS 6059 Gene Therapy (1) GMS 6971 Research (3)
GMS 6910 Research (3) FIN 5437: Finance (2)
ACG 5005: Financial Accounting (2)

 

The biomedical and business courses are brought together to create the curriculum in the table above. In the classroom, students will learn the profiles of major departments/areas (marketing, sales, finance, administration, HR, production, manufacturing support, QC/QA, research and development, regulatory affairs, clinical affairs, etc.), the operations of each, and how they interact with each other and outside organizations. Each key operation will be presented in a collection of learning media (classroom, internet-based, case studies). The curriculum is focused on the regulatory agencies, the regulations, developing & implementing quality systems, regulatory compliance, document development, documentation systems and control, process & facilities control, product release, auditing, specifications setting, biologics/tissue/device /pharmaceutical manufacturing technology, maintenance and calibration, process development/optimization, analytical instrumentation, analytical/laboratory methods, pre-clinical testing, and clinical trials design and conduct. The curriculum navigates the corporate environment, and business and economic landscape with a focus on markets, sales and marketing, supply chain, price controls, import/export practices, and business operations in the context of, budgets, timelines, available resources, business regulations, communication barriers, finance and accounting, and legal constraints (intellectual property, contracts, etc).

 

Contact MGM-GradEd@mgm.ufl.edu for more information, or phone 352-273-5935