Unlike layman’s perception, biotechnology is not just about working in the laboratory wearing white lab coat and preparing medicines to improve the quality of life. The field is so broad that it has a variety of career options from sales and marketing to research and development, to manufacturing and quality management of drugs and medical devices.
The field of biotechnology combines technology with biological sciences such agriculture, food sciences, waste management, medicine and in mining industry, although, biotechnology has been around since ancient times, the first advancement was in the field of food sciences, which took place around 5000 BC. A large number of diverse strains of plants and animals were hybridized to produce greater variety in the species.
Biotechnology has been applied to create new biodegradable material, transfer of particular gene from one organism to another, preservation and growth of genetically uniform plant-animal cell cultures and also to fuse dissimilar kinds of cells to produce new medical products like monoclonal antibodies. Keeping in view the importance of biotechnology in Pakistan, a separate entity called the National Commission on Biotechnology has been established, which has initiated several projects for various fields of biotechnology, mainly in the health and agriculture sectors.
Some of the many educational institutes in Pakistan offering degree courses in biotechnology are:
- Department of biotechnology, University of Karachi
- National institute for biotechnology and genetic engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad
- Department of Biochemistry, University of Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi
- School of Biological Sciences, Punjab University
- Department of Biotechnology, University of Peshawar
- Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic engineering NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar
The recent boom in the IT sector has paved way for biotechnology as well and now there is a huge scope for biotechnologists in Pakistan.
Eligibility for admission in degree programme:
Students who want to get a seat in the biotechnology degree programme after their intermediate must have completed their HSC in pre-medical, pre-engineering or computer science.
Biotechnology Jobs in Pakistan:
The combination of computer science and biology, termed as bioinformatics has created various opportunities for the people in biotechnology. Now many of our degree holders are working either in private companies or are employed by research organisations.
Some of the many sectors where there is a wide scope for biotechnologists are health care, environment, agriculture and food technology. Biotechnology jobs opportunities can be seen regularly in Pakistan national dailies. For those who want to pursuer a career in a biotechnology, must be aware of the difference between biotechnology and bio-medical engineering.
Biomedical engineering deals with the application of engineering principles while biotechnology deals with biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and biophysics.
There are separate institutes for biomedical engineering in Pakistan. Among them