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New program offered in biotechnology

February 7, 2002

To prepare professionals for the burgeoning field of biotechnology, the university will offer a new part-time graduate degree program beginning fall 2002.

The two-year program, which offers a master’s in biotechnology, will expose students to a breadth of topics that cover the science, business and legal issues of the field. “The goal of the program is primarily to broaden the students’ understanding of biotechnology and prepare them for leadership positions in industry,” says Richard Moss, UW–Madison chair of physiology and director of the new program.

Students who enroll in the program will take eight courses taught by both academic researchers and business leaders in the biotechnology industry. Moss says, “The joint venture between the university and industry makes this program unique.”

While the program will initially serve people with a strong background in biology, Moss hopes to diversify the curriculum in the upcoming years to meet the demand for other professionals, including lawyers and business executives, who may need knowledge of biotechnology in the course of their work.

For the following academic year, faculty include Alta Charo, professor of law and medical ethics; Lloyd Smith, professor of chemistry; Carl Gulbrandsen, director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; Derek Hei, director of the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility; and Mike Roy, president of BioDevelopment Resources, Inc.

Topics will include molecular technologies, preclinical development, drug manufacturing, functional genomics, principles of biotechnology and the impact of biotechnology on society. During the second year, all students will intern at a biotechnology firm. The program is designed to accommodate non-traditional students with full-time employment.

The program, Moss predicts, will benefit both the university and the state of Wisconsin. “In the long run, the program will provide the professional workforce that will raise the visibility of UW–Madison in biotechnology and that will attract companies to the state.”

Contact Mary Ellen Perry, (608) 262-0685,

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