Biotechnology is a broad discipline on technologies based on biology that improve human lives and health of the environment. The subject area covers principles and applications on how organisms, cells or cellular components and biological processes are utilized to develop new products and technologies in food manufacture, health industry, agriculture, energy production, industrial manufacture and remediation of polluted environment.
In 2001, the Department of Biotechnology was established at the Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management as the youngest department with 2 permanent academic staff members. The first biotechnology specialized students (15) graduated from the faculty in 2006. Biotechnology laboratory established in 2001 with minimum facilities received expansion during last years. Currently, the laboratory is equipped with adequate facilities for conducting practical sessions and research in the fields of molecular biology, microbiology and plant tissue culture.
At present, the Department of Biotechnology consists of eight permanent academic staff members (5 PhDs and 2 Masters) who are well-trained experts in the fields of molecular biology, genetic engineering, microbiology, biochemistry and plant tissue culture. Five academic support and four non-academic staff members support to strengthen the service of the department. In 2018, 42 undergraduate students are specializing in biotechnology discipline and the department has produced a total of 154 biotechnology specialized graduates during the last years. Department engages in postgraduate education via research studies and 1 PhD and 2 MPhils have been completed another three postgraduate students (2 PhDs and 1 MPhils) are progressing in their postgraduate research studies.