The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) was fo rm ed in January 2002 as the first department in the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS). This was in recognition of the importance of biotechnology to the development of life sciences in this millennium and to help in training sufficient manpower to support a fast growing biotech industry, both in the country and the region. It supports the Government's initiative since biotechnology has been identified as an Engine of Growth to help the nation achieve developed status by the year 2020. Being one of the 12 mega-biodiversity centers in the world, Malaysia foresees that judicious exploitation of its abundant natural resources with the amazing tools of modern biotechnology, as a way forward to ensure new wealth creation for its people and a better quality of life. Manpower training is therefore essential to ensure that Malaysians benefit from this anticipated development for wealth creation by the responsible use of resources. Projected country statistics show that by 2020 the biotechnology sector will expand to create 280,000 jobs, while foreign investment is expected to reach RM 30 billions.
There are 16 academics in DBT, with a good mix of local and foreign staff. While several staff have been recruited for their considerable teaching and research experience in an academic environment, others have also been selected based on their industrial experience. The junior lecturers were chosen particularly because of their training in cutting-edge technologies so vital for the development of a good biotechnology department.
We offer a three-year undergraduate degree programme in BSc Biotechnology with Honours. The First Batch of students began their courses in December 2002. Biotechnology has very quickly become the second most popular programme at AIMST. In addition to the undergraduate programme, MSc Biotechnology (by research) and PhD in Biotechnology are also offered.
Research activities by academic staff and students have begun in the new campus, supported by the University and outside grants, alongside on-going initiatives between biotech staff and scientists from local universities and research institutions.