The Department of Biotechnology was established in the year 2006 by the golden hands of His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and His Holiness Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal. The affiliation to both the B.Sc and M.Sc Biotechnology was gained at one stroke and at the very initiation and we owe much to the University of Madras for this.
Right from the inception, the department has been very clear in its goal that is “Steering its services with the motto of universal enlightenment.” Accordingly, it has been offering advanced laboratory services like HPLC analysis, UV-Vis Spectral studies, 16s rRNA amplification, fermentation using New Brunswick Bioflow- 110 and PCR amplification to students of various colleges and industries
The recent licenses for advanced software like SRL Autodock and Pathway tools for Metacyc maps the direction of our advancement. The growth is spontaneous and tremendous. We began with 10 computers but have evolved into a bioinformatics centre comprising 30 systems and 512 KBPS internet connectivity
The plant tissue culture protocols were completely standardized in plant tissue culture lab and it offers services like plant protoplast isolation and fusion, custom explant culture, anther culture, haploid plant production etc.
The bioprocess lab of the department concentrates on exploitation of microbial population of our fertile soils. A new bacterial species related to Providencia sp. was identified through 16s rRNA studies, which is capable of producing biosurfactant in industrial scale. Efforts to commercialize this strain are being taken and the department is negotiating with a leading manufacturer of enzymes and bio-products for this purpose.
Fluorescence Microscopy and Magnetically Activated Cell Sorting facilities are introduced in this academic year to strengthen the technical capabilities further, which will enable our students to undertake advanced cell biology research projects.
The Department of Biotechnology is emerging as an excellent culture collection system having a dedicated 8-port lyophilizer and -800C deep freezer. So far 20 bacterial strains and 10 fungal strains are identified as potential industrial strains and preserved and the count doubles every year.
The department continuously organizes guest lectures by eminent scientists. The very inauguration of the department started with a scintillating lecture on “Scope and Future of Biotechnology” by Prof.G.Vijayan Siva Ph.D., Department of Biotechnology, University of Madras. Recognizing the need for GMP practices, the department invited a guest lecture. Mr.Sridharan, QC Manager, Shasun biotech Pvt. Ltd. to deliver a lecture on “Current Good Manufacturing Processes.” Prof.P.T.Kalaiselvan, Professor, CAS in Botany, University of madras delivered 2 lectures on biotechnology and Prof.R.Puvanakrishnan, Emeritus Scientist, CLRI, delivered a lecture on “Microbial Enzyme Technology and Connective Tissue Biology.
Students of our department are strongly encouraged to participate in scientific conferences, seminars etc. 18 Students of I MSc, a student from II MSc biotechnology and 7 students of II B.Sc biotechnology have presented papers and posters in MCAS BIO2008 organised by Muthayammal College, Rasipuram on 4th and 5th Jan, 2008. 20 students of II MSc and a research scholar of our Biotechnology department have attended ICB 2008, organized by Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore. A student from II MSc biotechnology has attended the International conference on “Applied Bioengineering” (iCAB07) organized by Sathyabama University from 5-7 Dec, 2007. 20 Students of I BSc , 24 students of II BSc, 10 Students of I MSc and 1 student from II MSc have participated and presented a paper in Melange-2008 Vels college of science, Chennai held on 31st Jan& 1st Feb 2008. Three students of I M.Sc and a student from III B.Sc have presented a paper and won the prize in an event on GENOZEST 08 in Vel Sri Ranga Sanku College, Chennai on 30th July 2008. Two students from II B.Sc won the first prize for Poster presentation organized by Sri Sankara Arts & Science College on 21st, Jan, 2009.
Ms.S.Gomathy of III B.Sc was offered a Student Research Fellowship by Indian Academy of Science and Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, and was trained at RajivGandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum, Kerala from May 20th to July 15th of 2009.