Learn about the program's unique curriculum, world-class faculty and convenient schedule. In just two years, you can earn your degree while still working full-time.
Richard Moss, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies
Executive Director and Co-founder, M.S. in Biotechnology Program
Kurt Zimmerman, M.S.
Director, Industry Engagement, SMPH
Director, Master of Science in Biotechnology Program
Natalie Betz, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Faculty Instructor, Master of Science in Biotechnology Program
Bryan Husk, M.A.
Assistant Director, Master of Science in Biotechnology Program
Michele Smith, MS SCT(ASCP)
Program Manager, Master of Science in Biotechnology Program
The Master of Science of Biotechnology Program brings together the expertise of the University of Wisconsin's world-class faculty, and the applied experience of the region's most successful biotechnology leaders from private industry.
Natalie Betz, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Faculty Instructor
Master of Science in Biotechnology
Dave Lewis, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer (former)
UW Carbone Cancer Center
The M.S. in Biotechnology program has over 350 alumni since its first graduates in 2004.
Each year the value of the alumni network strengthens as more students graduate and grow their careers.
Alumni by Graduating Class:
This second laboratory-intensive course explores biotechnologies with research, industrial and diagnostic applications—with a special emphasis on nucleic acid and protein analysis in diverse areas of biotechnology.
Classroom and lab activities include gene cloning, protein expression and purification on a manufacturing scale; the detection of genetically modified organisms and its implications for science and society; automation in biotechnology, and human genetic identity and its role in forensics.
You'll also hear guest lectures on directed evolution through protein engineering and DNA, protein and cell microarrays.
The biomanufacturing laboratory component highlights many of the topics covered in Biotechnology Operations.
Here are some of the topics taught in this course:
Session 1a &1b: An introduction to Gene Cloning, Protein Expression, and Protein Purification; first laboratory exercises; Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) detection; Science, business, and regulatory impacts of GMOs in the agricultural biotechnology field.
Session 2a & 2b: GMO detection continued; Protein-based method, ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay) and immunoassay strip test used. Purify plasmid DNA from the mini cultures of bacteria and then analyze the plasmid DNA with restriction enzymes to verify the correct target gene insert is present; GMO PCR reaction used.
Session 3a & 3b: Inoculate and induce a fermentation culture of bacteria containing the target protein (zbFGF) using fermentors; Perform optimization, and batch record generation; Instruction on using of BioFlo fermentors. Process induced bacterial culture by centrifuging and will prepare a crude cell lysate, which will be subsequently purified in Sessions 4 and 5 and analyzed in Session 5; Batch record generation and product specifications will continue; Prepare solutions for chromatography downstream purification.
Session 4a & 4b: Cation exchange chromatography on the crude bacterial lysate generated in Session 3b, using a Bio-Rad DuoFlow FPLC (Fast Performance Liquid Chromatography) system; Introduction to concepts surrounding genetic identity. Ppurify their own genomic DNA from cheek cells (buccal swabs); DNA will then be tested for genotyping their own samples; Analyze samples collected in a mock criminal case as well by purifying "touch DNA" using an automated magnetic silica purification method.
Session 5a & 5b: Final formulation step of the target protein using tangential flow filtration or dialysis; Vialing to store the purified zbFGF product; Analyze and interpret the results of the STR genotyping reactions and discuss allele frequencies and the probability of specific genotypes and the power of discrimination or exclusion. Perform final analysis of the purified target zb-FGF protein; protein concentration determined using a commercially available colorimetric protein assay (BCA), while the purity and integrity of the final purified target protein will be determined using Experion chip analysis; Guest lecture on the science and business of genetic identity analysis.
Session 6a & 6b: Tour Exact Sciences manufacturing/testing site and the Feynman Center (Promega GMP Biomanufacturing Facility). Deliver poster presentations with partners on their assigned topics.
Session 7a & 7b: Introduction to laboratory automation and its role in biotechnology; Guest lecture on "Directed Evolution" (protein engineering) and role it plays in biotechnology. Tour and view demonstrations of various automated platforms in the R&D Integrated Systems laboratory at Promega Corporation. "Epigenetics/Epigenomics" introduced and significance in biotechnology discussed.
Prospective StudentsBiotech at UW-Madison
Students & AlumniAlumni Success Stories