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Research and
Innovation at NU

Ph.D in Biotechnology

The Doctoral Programme in Biotechnology prepares the doctoral students with the education necessary to be leaders in the fast-growing industrial and academic biotechnology sectors. The programme includes multi-disciplinary and interrelated subjects in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genetic engineering. The combination of coursework, intensive laboratory based research, in-house seminars, and national and international conferences, etc. form the basis of this programme.

The Programme’s themes include:

Environmental Biotechnology: Pollution of groundwater and soil is a worldwide problem that can result in uptake and accumulation of toxic chemicals in food chains and harm the flora and fauna of affected habitats. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which include carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides and metals are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes.

Bioenergy: Biofuels produced from renewable resources are increasingly attracting attention as the public concerns on the global warming and energy security have been growing worldwide. Among the biofuels, butanol and ethanol are currently under the spotlight. This project is designed for improving the butanol production by manipulating the Lactobacillus brevis. The manipulation of Lactobacillus brevis is carried out by their ldh gene mutation and transformation with recombinant plasmid containing Clostridial butanol synthesis gene cassette.

Lactic Acid Bacteria and their plasmids: In this project we utilise the genetic and bioinformatics techniques/tools for identification and analysis of the promoter regions in the natural and novel RCR plasmids with the intention of the construction of the broad host range prokaryotic expression vector. Research are lacking on simultaneous and stable expressions of two and many antigens for mucosal immunisation against infective agents. Thus in this project, a novel bidirectional promoter region will be identified in the plasmid of the natural isolates of the lactic acid bacteria for the construction of the expression vector. This expression vector will be utilised for the stable and simultaneous expression of two or many genes against infective agents in the lactic acid bacteria for the development of vaccine delivery system.

Nano-Biosciences: Titanium dioxide is among one of the nanoparticles which is receiving increasing attention for a large variety of applications like toothpastes, dental fillings, photovoltaic cells, beauty products, sunscreens and textiles. The ecotoxicological impact of manufactured TiO2 nanoparticles and residues from the degradation of commercial TiO2 nanomaterials (RDN) is still unknown. Currently, we are studying the effects of commercially available TiO2 and RDNs towards the physiological activities of bacteria.

Medical Biotechnology: The human harbors more than 100 trillion microorganisms that live in our gut, mouth, skin and elsewhere in our bodies. These microbial communities could be beneficial as well as may be life-threatening. Most of this microbial population is non-cultivable which needs to be explored to understand the various roles played by this community like antibiotic resistance.

The Biotechnology field has various spacious laboratories well equipped with many sophisticated instruments to support the research needs of the students. Some of the major instruments are HPLC, AAS-graphite furnace, GC (FID & ECD), ELISA reader, FPLC, Anaerobic Growth chamber, Real Time PCR, DGGE and Fermentors. Biotechnology area is supported by many funding agencies of Govt. of India.