Faculty of Science/ Department of Biology

Master in Biotechnology


Course Description

MBT 100 - English Communication for Science and Technology               

 The course is designed to prepare graduate students for the most common forms of scientific reporting. The students are encouraged to situate themselves within the discourse of their chosen field. The course will cover basic guidelines for clear, concise, informative science writing. The students will also learn how to develop good research skills, audience awareness, and attention to models as guides to the writing expectations. The course includes a variety of assignments including an online source review, a laboratory report and a research paper. Students work in groups and are encouraged to see themselves as developing problem solving skill and will work independently in shaping/ revising their individual projects, seeking advice from subject area teachers in their field of interest.



 As part of the graduate Master program, this course is a cornerstone course for molecular biology.  It consists of three credit hours given on Thursday. Advanced Molecular Biology aims to introduce the field in a practical applied way.  Molecular biology is relevant to clinical and other areas of biology and medicine.  Knowledge of the field is indispensible in all areas of biotechnology from new drug design to gene therapy.



 This is an advanced graduate course that will examine molecular and mechanistic aspects of cell biology.  Topics will include protein structure and targeting, control of gene expression and how cells read the genomes, receptors and signaling pathways critical for cell function, and membrane structure and transport.  Empahsis will be placed on contemporary research in cell biology as presented in journal review articles.



 This course is a series of lectures that are aimed at developing the research skills of students. Knowledge and skills will be attained in areas such as research ethics, research frameworks, using information technology in research, qualitative and quantitative research methods, managing the data, formulation of research proposals, and research communication.



 This is ethics in biotechnology class with one credit hour. It is intended for students in the Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering field. It is intend to familiarize the students with the ethical standards associated with employing techniques in biotechnology in various laboratory settings. It will concentrate on recent implications of newly developed bio-techniques that are usually controversial in natures. In addition to classic ethical issues in biotechnology, and it will emphasize on recent advancements, such as the use of animals in research, cloning debates, use of embryonic stem cells, use of embryonic tissues and organs, and ex-vivo tissue and organ regeneration. Students will be asked to select a topic on which they will write a report and make an oral presentation towards the end of the semester.



 The course will be given in a form of modules that will be taught by Drs Hashem Shahin and Omar Darissa. Each of the instructors will focus on aspects that are related to his expertise and research interests and will introduce students to techniques and instrumentations that are commonly used in both animal, plant and microorganism biotechnology.

 This course will provide the theoretical basis and the hands-on experience needed for the understanding and execution of those laboratory procedures which are widely used in biotechnology and molecular genetics. While the subject matter will be discussed in the context of broadly stated research objectives, the emphasis will be on the techniques rather than on specific applications and strategies. Thus, students will acquire skill in the use of "generic" methods, and through an understanding of such methods, improve their effectiveness as scientists or just workers in a contemporary research laboratory.



 Bioinformatics is a new multidisciplinary field which utilizes computer science, information technology and mathematics to tackle and answer biology problems. This course has been designed for students with life sciences background who are interested in bioinformatics to allow them to know how to search, retrieve, and analyze biological data. The students will learn how to use public bio-data to design their experiments and to analyze their lab results using different bioinformatic tools.

 A problem-based learning approach will be implemented to ensure that students will gain enough hands on experience with various bioinformatic resources and to enhance their self learning capacities.

 This course will focus on fundamental domains in bioinformatics such as biological databases and sequence analysis with emphasis on exemplar problems from the different research groups of the master program.


MBT 717 - Statistical Genetics

 This course is given to graduated students mastering biotechnology. Statistical genetics is an advance human genetics field in which the statistical methods and inferences are applied on genetic data to better understand disease association risks factored by population stratification and sex effect. Beside analyzing genetic data at the population level, it covers also family-based association analysis of inherited diseases.



 The aim of this core graduate course is to familiarize graduate students with the characteristics and trends of the biotechnology sector. In other words, the business sides of the applications of biotechnology like their commercialization, regulation and funding will be highlighted.  The course contains several parts: history and profile of the sector, business models, financial management of biotechnology companies, current and future development, biotechnology and the government. Important is that not only the characteristics of mature companies will be examined, but also the relevant aspects of young, starting biotechnology companies and emerging life science technologies will be considered.

Opportunities and challenges concerning intellectual property and its application in a high-technology sector like biotechnology will be discussed.



 This course will introduce master students to the advanced methods and skills of scientific research. It focuses on the main aspects in any scientific studies including  literature review (library and the internet),  sampling strategies and designs, hypothesis testing, introduces experimental design, in addition to writing good research  proposals. The course also provides insight into ethical aspects related to scientific research.

MBT 721 -  Molecular Diagnostics (oncology)

 This course is primarily a seminar/lecture-based course divided it two parts.  Two thirds of the course is devoted to Molecular Microbiology and one third to Molecular Oncology.  The course is designed to provide the Master’s student in biotechnology up to date information on the utilization of molecular diagnostic techniques for identifying pathogens.

 In the oncology part the student is expected to understand the principles of molecular diagnosis  for the different  types of cancer, and get an idea about the background of how and why different molecular methods are used in cancer.

MBT 722 - Plant Tissue Culture

 This course will focus on the principles, techniques and application of plant cell, tissue and organ culture.  Composition of and procedures for preparation of nutrient media; techniques for explant and propagule isolation and culture; and tissue culture growth environments required for initiation and maintenance of cell, tissue and organ cultures will be presented.  Principles related to the regulation of cell growth, and tissue and organ differentiation will be discussed and linked to the utilization of tissue culture systems for micropropagation and production of haploid plants.  Also, methods for genetic transformation, mainly Agrobacterium-mediated methods, and plant regeneration that result in production of transgenic plants and implications of these methodologies to crop improvement will be discussed.  Reading and oral presentation of scientific papers on various fields of plant tissue culture will be an integral part of the learning process in this course.  In addition to the theoretical material covered in this course, students will have the chance to experience practical work on plant tissue culture as well as observation of the main steps involved in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tomato plants towards the improvement of their drought tolerance.


MBT727 - Advanced Topics in Biotechnology

 This course will cover 4 selected topic areas: two are lecture based, and 2 are practical laboratory-based.

The main lecture topics are i) transgenic and ‘knock-out’ mouse technologies in forward and reverse genetics with the emphasis upon design strategies and their critical evaluation and ii) a case study of emerging viral threat(s) to humans, which this year will focus upon the MERS coronavirus and the research strategies and molecular epidemiological analyses employed to understand and address the risks to humans.

 The 2 laboratory based modules are: animal cell culture techniques and plant tissue culture techniques. Students will get hands-on experience of working with animal cells and plant tissues during these practicums. The animal cell work will cover 3 weeks in the animal cell culture lab, with 2 hours of introductory background covered at the beginning. Dr Rami Arafah will introduce the plant tissue culture techniques over 2 weeks in the plant lab.


MBT 729 - Advanced Biochemistry

 This is an advanced graduate course that will discuss selected topics in Biochemistry and industrial biotechnology with a special focus on its applications and recent advances. Topics will include enzymes kinetics, industrial enzymes, industrial microbes, bio-processing, fermentation and bioreactors.



Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
E-mail: info@bethlehem.edu
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine

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