Educating Biotechnology Experts, the Seed of Future Industry (KRIBB Campus, Biosystems & Bioengineering Major)
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- Registration Date : 2016-04-05
Biotechnology that researches the functions and characteristics of an organism and applies them to our life is attracting huge attention as a foundation and growth engine of future industry. While biotechnology is regarded as the base for core promising industries that can create high added value, we looked around the UST-Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) campus, which is raising the status of the Korean and the global biotechnology area, g on its biosystems & bioengineering major, an important course offering of UST-KRIBB.
KRIBB, widening the base of global biotechnology research
KRIBB was established in 1985 for the purpose of contributing to national science and technology, industrial development, and settlement of national and social issues through R & D in the biotechnology area, as well as the construction and operation of basic infrastructure. It changed its name in 2001 to the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB). As a vital institution for the development of Korean biotechnology, KRIBB is the only domestic government-funded research institute that conducts research on state-of-the-art biotechnology such as health care, expansion of food production, new biomaterial development, environmental purification, and new energy development, including basic researches for the fundamental understanding of the vital phenomenon. It is currently composed of nine major courses, which includes Biosystems & Bioengineering, Functional Genomics, and Biomolecular Science. Also, it is home to a host of research professionals, including 147 faculty members and 240 students.
The KRIBB students derive results from experiments that they conducted by themselves based on the theories they learned. They then set new hypotheses and carry out experiments based on those results, thus building the foundation to become scientists. Such advantages of KRIBB, wherein major lectures are organically connected with field research, is bearing great fruits in the domestic and the foreign biotechnology areas. In particular, many research theses conducted in KRIBB last year produced great results and were thus published in major foreign journals such as
Biosystems and bioengineering, leading the next-generation biotechnology through interdisciplinary convergence and tailored talents
Biosystems and bioengineering, one of the important major courses of KRIBB, analyzes the biosystem components of microorganisms or animals and plants based on bio information and ting-edge OMICS technology, as well as researches on various life phenomena. The department is currently composed of 28 professors and 40 students. The subjects being dealt in biosystems and bioengineering major include 15 subjects―such as system biology, which studies the network between the components and response mechanism to external stimulus; and advanced biotechnology which deals with the technology to create the products necessary for diverse areas such as industry, agriculture, and medicine―as well as 39 field researches.
The responsible professor from the department, Ohsuk Kwon said “Students with diverse major backgrounds enter UST. So, I think that it is important to attempt to create synergy by mutually sharing information. Therefore, to begin with, we are trying to achieve interdisciplinary convergence in our course. We are organizing a place of mutual understanding and exchange between the areas by holding seminars in our subjects.” In addition, the biosystems and bioengineering department analyzed and assessed the operation of its major courses and courses under academic-industrial partnership by organizing a research team composed of professors, students, external institutions, and industrial experts. Also, it is carrying out a project to educate tailored and high-end bio experts who can be immediately placed at research sites to solve the problems. Prof. Kwon said, “This course is leading the next-generation biotechnology such as the development of original technology to control the life phenomenon, the development of new renewable biomaterials to replace the oil resources, and the development of green technology through differentiated human resource development system.”
Aiming to foster the world’s leading biotechnology experts
The long-term vision of the biosystems and bioengineering course is to “foster the world’s leading R & D experts in the area of biotechnology based on OMICS.” Prof. Kwon said, “The mid- to long-term goal of the course is to foster biotechnology experts with deep knowledge in biosystems and bioengineering and sufficient field research experience, while placing focus on system biology and synthetic biology.” He added that the biosystems and bioengineering course is concentrating its research effort on national bioindustry, food, energy, and environmental areas while placing its focus on system construction to produce talents to lead the next-generation green technology and development of convergence. He also said that the department is trying to strengthen its global competency by increasing the opportunity for international collaboration and exchange, as well as actively participating in the development of green biotechnology, the country's core research area.
He said, “Our department seeks to escape from the current senior-focused research culture in the future so as to construct a horizontal culture where researchers respect each other and exchange their opinions freely. I expect that many young and competent students will enter this course. Our ultimate goal is to make the UST students, who will grow into emerging researchers, feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as to make our department dynamic: a department where researchers can achieve self-fulfillment.”