How to Decide Biotech Project
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
Due to mushrooming Biotech colleges in India, many investors came in the big picture of Biotech laboratories. In this scenario, it is very important to distinguish and analyze Good, Better and Best laboratories than just a good business model for the very purpose of learning biotech resulting in any kind of publications.
What is crucial 2 years after M.Sc. Biotechnology
What makes or breaks your career post M.Sc. ?
You may be now working on your final year project post Diwali vacations. Good, this is your first step while getting into the challenging field of research in Biotechnology and Life Sciences. What is crucial for making career in Biotechnology or any other degree in Life Sciences? Answer lies in, what you will be doing immediately after post graduation. Those who get job or any kind of research fellowship and make their CV good enough to get into another ladder and don's waste time at home, make their career. To be in the process of career i.e. good start is half done. Later on you can try to get into company of good people in science for your next degree i.e. Ph.D.
If is our experience that those who clear CSIR NET, SET or PET during appearing of final year exams or at the most next year immediatelly after post graducation, do well in competitive exams than those who stay at home and try for these exams. Then question comes, how to get into any kind of job which is research oriented and will lead into successful career ? Answer lies in what project you did during your degree ? Which are the technologies that are driving biotech field.
How crucial is your final year project?
In Biotechnology, the most important field is molecular biology, which has two main streams: Genomics and Proteomics. Genomics is further categorized into Human Genomics, Plant Genomics, Bacterial Genomics or any other life form such as molecular virology. Proteomic is further categorized into Therapeutic proteins, structural proteomics, vaccine, and antibody research. Key technologies which need to grab under genomics is nucleic acid isolation DNA and RNA, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Real-Time PCR, Reverse Transcriptase PCR, cloning and rDNA technology including ligation, restriction digestion, mini, medi, and maxi prep of DNA. Key technologies in proteomics are protein isolation, SDS PAGE, Western Blot, Chromatography, AKTA purifier, HPLC, FPLC, Mass Spec and NMR, protein folding and various protein characterization techniques.
Some latest tools and techniques such as CRISPR Cas9 or Microarray, NGS in genomics can be done once basics are gained. Some specific areas such as virology needs, ELISA, Western Blot, Animal Tissue Culture along with Molecular Biology specifically mentioned above.
During post-graduation, in the classroom or in in lab during practicals, in a batch of 20 to 40 students, it is difficult for every student to get hands of practicals, which make few students confident and most unable to cope with the need of independent working culture even though they get placement in the corporate sector such as any biotech company or R&D institute.
So it is necessary to find a better place for final year project, which not only provides an independent platform for students but also build enough confidence to promote them for the independent final year project. Data from our lab explain how crucial is final year project and rather how significant is better labs better than their colleges for making a career in Biotech. Some of our students mentioned how they make their first job immediately after M.Sc.
So, in brief, you must ask yourself few question.
Where you wants to do final year project ? Which lab is important for overall guidance? Should you take admission blindly or should you visit personally to read earlier project hard copies? Some institute may create an urgency, last date, few seats only available, or do online payment before even you have not visited their lab? Do you know who is your actual project guide? Where your seniors did their project? Can you get their copies from your institutional library? Even before visiting private labs and R&Ds ? Why your teachers or HOD stress on specific labs for final year project? Whether same practicals you are doing in those labs recommended by your teachers or college management ? Whether your college management own these labs ? If all the batches are going to the same place from long time, what new things are available? Do earlier projects got any publications from that lab? These are related queries you should get before you take admission.
As you need the best lab for your once in lifetime final year project in Molecular Biology. As some genius said, Biotechnology minus Molecular Biology equals to Zero....!!!