northeastern university seal
EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

Biotechnology

Global Partnership Aims at Improving the Quality of Medicine
NSF Grant Supports Diversity in STEM
Centers of Medicine and Science - Classes in Boston, San Francisco or online*

What’s old is new again

Biotechnology is considered the new industrial frontier. Yet we’ve been practicing it for as long as we’ve been baking bread and enjoying cheese and beer. 

Today, we continue to capitalize on nature’s toolbox to enrich our lives, whether we are harnessing cellular processes to create new medicines, using biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or developing food with enhanced nutrients.

Recent biotechnological advances are addressing our world’s most pressing challenges of health, food production, and environmental sustainability.  Every day, scientists come closer to even more breakthroughs that help us to live longer and healthier lives. 

Our interdisciplinary biotechnology program combines advanced training in biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, and pharmaceutical sciences with critical business skills to bring you to the forefront of discovery and innovation.

Degree Options

Coursework and Requirements
A sampling of the types of courses you could take here.
Basic Biotechnology Lab Skills
BIOT 5145

Introduces selected key skills and techniques central to life sciences research. Laboratory exercises highlight the importance of precision/accuracy in dispensation of liquids and in the preparation of solutions and standards, documentation and record keeping, and maintaining a safe and sterile work environment while performing scientific research.

Cutting Edge Applications in Molecular Biotechnology
BIOT 5810

Introduces the uses of molecular biology in a biotechnology setting, including state-of-the-art molecular biology applications such as: stability and expression of cloned gene products, gene cloning strategies, transgenic species, mutation creation and analysis, DNA fingerprinting, PCR technology, microarray technology, gene probes, gene targeting, gene therapy, stem cell technology, antisense RNA, CAR T-cell therapy, RNA interference, and CRISPR/Cas9.

Drug Product Process for Biopharmaceuticals
BIOT 5640

Covers the development and implementation of the drug product manufacturing process for biopharmaceuticals. Topics include the preformulation process for early stage product development, the selection of formulation compatible with the targeted product presentation, optimization of formulations to meet stability and usage objectives, the design of a scalable process for production, large-scale process equipment and operations, process scale-up considerations, and regulatory compliance issues for drug product manufacturing facilities and operations. 

*Prerequisite Courses for MS in Biotechnology

Applicants are required to have completed at least one undergraduate-level course in biochemistry, organic chemistry, and/or molecular biology/genetics/physiology.

It is also highly recommended that applicants complete at least one course in college-level calculus and one course in statistics.

Review the Catalog
Biotechnology Quick Facts
Of students land industry-related jobs following graduation

14% expected national growth in graduate-level biotechnology job postings by 2022 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Admission Deadlines

Fall – Rolling Admissions

  • 6/1 International
  • 7/15 International F1
  • 8/1 Domestic

Spring

  • 10/1 International
  • 12/1 Domestic
10 Concentrations for Further Specialization
  • Agricultural Biotechnology Concentration
  • Biodefense Concentration
  • Biopharmaceutical Analytical Sciences
  • Biotechnology Enterprise
  • Manufacturing and Quality Operations
  • Molecular Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Technologies
  • Process Science
  • Regulatory Science
  • Scientific Information Management
Average annual salary for biotechnological scientists in 2019 (Payscale)
Scholarships available at our San Francisco Bay area campus
Biotechnology companies located in the Boston area

Real World Industry Experience

Northeastern’s biotechnology students benefit from Northeastern’s extensive network of industry partners in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and around the globe. Masters degree students complete either a 3-6 month co-op work experience or participate in an industry-based independent project, providing an invaluable opportunity to gain professional training within the commercial sector.

Learn More About Co-Op

Faculty Research

Biotechnology
Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine
Research at this center includes pharmaceutical nanocarriers, controlled drug and gene delivery, drug targeting, intracellular targeting, experimental medical imaging, and cancer immunology, and train young researches in these areas.
Biotechnology
Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis
The Institute was established in 1973 as a center for advanced interdisciplinary research in the chemical analysis sciences at Northeastern University, in the educational hub of Boston, Massachusetts. Today, with over 50 scientists and an $8 million endowment, the Institute is recognized internatio..
Biotechnology
Antimicrobial Discovery Center
The Center translates basic discoveries into novel antimicrobial therapies to combat Biowarfare and conventional pathogen threats. The rise of multidrug resistant pathogens and the threat of genetically engineered bioweapons represent an urgent need for antimicrobial therapies. The Center is funded..
Biotechnology
Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR)
The Center’s objective is simple: think networks. Research focuses on how networks emerge/evolve, how they look, and how they impact our understanding of complex systems. CCNR’s research has developed to unexpected areas, including the topology of the World Wide Web; complex networks inside th..
Biotechnology
Center for Translational NeuroImaging
The Center for Translational NeuroImaging endeavors to provide services to the academic community interested in  animal modeling and drug testing to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of CNS diseases. The Center is also committed to training the next generation of imaging scientists to meet the n..
Biotechnology
Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Lab (BATL)
Directed by Dr. Jared Auclair, BATL is a state-of-the-art facility offering a unique hands-on training opportunity to the pharmaceutical industry in form of affordable, practical and comprehensive courses. Experienced faculty and staff provide in-depth knowledge applicable to the lab environment.
Biotechnology
Nanomedicine Innovation Center
The mission of the Nanomedicine Innovation Center is to generate cutting-edge research in Nanomedicine, develop innovative education and training, and place an emphasis on diversity and broadening participation. It is home to state-of-the art facilities and resources and has established partnership..
Biotechnology
New England Inflammation and Tissue Protection Institute
This institute focuses on the role of tissue inflammation in fighting disease and infection, and the mechanisms that control tissue inflammation in the body. The Institute’s work has immediate implications for anti-cancer strategies and approaches to improved vaccines.
The Minds Behind COS Biotechnology
Faculty Spotlight
Jared Auclair
Biotechnology
Northeastern researcher and Director of BATL, Dr. Jared Auclair trains regulators around the world to speed up the approval of new drug treatments.
Alexandros Makriyannis
Biotechnology
Makriyannis leads the Center for Drug Discovery, working to develop novel medications and creating technologies aimed at improving the discovery of new therapeutic drugs.
Slava Epstein
Biotechnology
Epstein, a professor of biology, is pioneering technology that will advance antiobiotic discovery .

Contact Us

, , , , , , , , , ,

The Sum Total: A Collection of COVID-19 Stories Across COS

When COVID-19 emerged as global threat, it demanded action. The Northeastern College of Science heard the call.

A fleet of professors, researchers, technicians, staff, and students overnight became mobilized to fight on the front lines of science. Together, and in every discipline of science, they were able to make significant contributions to the collective good: developing epidemic models, serving as advisors to local and national government, studying the structure of the virus, assisting with contact tracing, developing systems for on-campus testing, and more. Even as pandemic continues, so does their work.

Thanks to [email protected]‘s exceptional team of journalists and photographers, we are now able to present a retrospective of their work, through the first six months of COVID-19.


| March 2, 2020

How Can We Stop The Spread Of False Rumors About COVID-19? Better Math.

Alessandro Vespignani is Sternberg Family distinguished university professor of physics, computer science, and health sciences, and director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Research from the Network Science Institute uses mathematical equations to track how “social contagions” spread. This data shows how to follow false news and rumors about COVID-19, and why gossip spreads like a disease itself.

Featuring: Jessica Davis (PhD student), Alessandro Vespignani
Topics: Mathematics, Network Science


| March 6, 2020

Closing Borders Can Delay, But Can’t Stop the Spread of COVID-19, New Report Says

The Network Science Institute published a study showing that closing boarders and travel bans might slow the spread of COVID-19, but will not stop the spread. Their study used Wuhan travel bans as an example for America

Featuring: Jessica Davis (PhD student), Ana Pastore y Piontti, Alessandro Vespignani
Topics
: Network Science


| March 20, 2020

Here’s Why Washing Your Hands With Soap for 20 Seconds Protects You From COVID-19

Thomas Gilbert explains the simple chemistry behind why washing your hands with soap is so effective at killing virus’s and bacteria. This goes into why the twenty second rule is important, and how soap as a lipid can fight the lipid casings of bacteria that water can’t dissolve.

Featuring: Thomas Gilbert
Topics: Chemistry and Chemical Biology


| March 27, 2020

He’s Preparing the ER for a Surge of COVID-19 Patients. There’s Nowhere Else He’d Rather Be.

Abhishek Mogili is a Biology co-op student helping prepare hospitals for the incoming onslaught of patients. Acting as an extra set of hands, he helps brace for impact with COVID, a common theme among pre-med co-ops.

Featuring: Abhishek Mogili (Co-op student)
Topics: Biology


| April 1, 2020

Here’s How to Combat the Feat Caused By a Barrage of COVID-19 News

David DeSteno explains how rumors and fear, while useful, can get blown out of proportion. DeSteno goes on to show how this applies to the pandemic, and how to combat this unnecessary fear.

Featuring: David DeSteno
Topics: Psychology


| May 15, 2020

The Coronavirus Might Have Hidden Weak Spots. Machine Learning Could Help Find Them.

Chemists at northeastern research possible weak points the COVID-19 virus might have. Using machine learning, coupled with knowledge of the disease’s amino acids, Mary Jo and Penny could locate these weak points, helping create possible vaccines down the line.

Featuring: Penny Beuning, Mary Jo Ondrechen
Topics: Chemistry and Chemical Biology


| June 1, 2020

When My Brothers Table Needed Help, the Marine Science Center Faculty Stepped Up

Volunteers work at My Brother’s Table, the largest soup kitchen on Boston’s North Shore, to provide meals for takeout and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

The Marine Science Center had taken notice that food shelters had less volunteers during the pandemic, and was struggling to help feed people especially when the home style dining they cherished became impossible. The researchers working at the MSC stepped up to keep meals flowing for those in need.

Featuring: Torrance Hanley, Randall Hughes
Topics: Marine and Environmental Science


| June 3, 2020

COVID-19 Misconceptions Are Hard to Fight. Cognitive Psychology Might Help Spot Why People Get the Coronavirus Wrong.

John Coley explains how misconceptions about COVID arise, and why psychologically they make sense. He goes on to explain how to fight these misconceptions with that same psychology.

Featuring: John Coley
Topics: Psychology


| July 27, 2020

Scientists Still Don’t Have all the Answers About the Coronavirus—and That’s a Sign of Progress

As researchers study SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 at breakneck speeds, one key aspect to keep in mind is that the research is happening while everyone watches. “The public is getting front-row seats to the scientific method, probably in a way they never imagined they would’ve experienced,” says Samuel Scarpino, who runs the Emergent Epidemics Lab at Northeastern.

Featuring: Sam Scarpino
Topics: Marine and Environmental Science


| August 5, 2020

Northeastern’s Life Sciences Center is a Cutting Edge Laboratory That Will Process the University’s Coronavirus Tests

The Northeastern Life Science Center receives permission to process the university’s coronavirus tests. This tremendous project is led by Jared Auclair, an assistant professor of biotechnology.

Featuring: Jared Auclair
Topics: Biotechnology


| August 6, 2020

How to Talk to Others About Healthy Habits Like Face Masks and Distancing

William Sharp discusses the stresses “mask vs no mask” interactions can cause, and shares how to start the important conversations surrounding them. It is always better to be aware of what everyone is comfortable with going into a public event.

Featuring: William Sharp
Topics: Psychology

 

October 25, 2020

In the Trenches at Northeastern’s Coronavirus Testing Center by Day, Hitting the Books at Night

By the time that Eduardo Sanchez heads to work in the morning, he’s already been up for hours—reading and preparing for the discussions, quizzes, and tests he takes as part of a master’s program in biotechnology at Northeastern.

But he won’t touch that classwork again until after 11 at night, after he ends his shift as one of the scientists who ensures Northeastern’s Life Sciences Testing Center runs like a well-oiled machine to process thousands of coronavirus tests on a daily basis.

In July, when Sanchez joined a then-four-person team as a lab technician, the systems and instrumentation that sustain the lab today were still being  designed. Then they needed to be validated in order to acquire the licensing that would allow the lab to conduct the diagnostic analysis and process the human samples necessary to test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

Now, nearly 10 weeks into its operations, and thanks to the determination of Sanchez and other scientists with experience working in other clinical laboratories, the state-of-the-art facility has been the engine of an ambitious testing operation that has allowed Northeastern’s campus in Boston to re-open—and remain open—this fall.

Read the full story here

October 22, 2020

They’re Using Virtual Reality to Ensure Patients Get Safe and Effective Drugs

In efforts to help researchers produce quality medicine worldwide, Northeastern’sBiopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory, established in 2014 and directed by Jared Auclair, is training students, researchers, and drug regulators worldwide on the best practices and challenges involved in producing new drugs. In early 2019, Auclair’s lab received a $4.3 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to expand its research space, which is being used to help trainees understand potential issues in the drug-making process, such as falsified data or information that has been tampered with, Auclair says.

Associate teaching professor of biotechnology, Jared Auclair, says as the scientific community rushes to develop a vaccine and treatments for the COVID-19 illness, the quality and safety of new drugs is more important than ever.

This article was originally published on [email protected] on May 5, 2020. To read more, click here.

May 11, 2020
, , ,

On the Front Lines of COVID-19 with COS Alumna Dr. Ali Wallace

Dr. Ali Wallace ’13 works as a Pediatric Resident Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. She took time out of her increasingly busy schedule to give us an inside look at COVID-19 preparations, as well as to discuss how her experience at Northeastern shaped her into the doctor she is today.

Can you tell me about your experience at Northeastern?

I started my journey at Northeastern as a Chemistry major. I quickly realized the lab environment wasn’t for me (thanks co-op!) so transitioned into Biochemistry, with a minor in Psychology.

I lived on campus for a majority of college, which I absolutely loved (don’t ever take for granted those floor-to-ceiling-window-Boston-views in West Village).

I also did a Dialogue Program abroad in Italy. I spent my free time dancing in a few club groups (first season of No Limits Dance Crew!) and going on hikes with NUHOC, which I will forever be grateful for because that is how I met my now husband!

I graduated in 2013 and miss college all the time!

 

What kind of co-ops did you go on?

My first co-op was doing Immunology research at Biogen – a pharmaceutical company in Cambridge. I worked with cell lines and mice, and learned a ton, but mostly that I wasn’t cut out for an entire career in a lab.

I knew I wanted to work with people and I found a more clinical co-op as a Newborn Hearing Screener at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which I still believe to be the best job ever! I cuddled newborns all day and got to congratulate new parents when their baby passed its “first test”! This was my first clinical experience in Pediatrics and it obviously left an impression on me. I really enjoyed the Pediatricians I worked with, the hospital environment, and being a part of special moments on a daily basis.

 

How did Northeastern and COS help shape your interests and/or prepare you for what you’re doing today?

I am forever grateful for the flexibility that Northeastern gave me while trying to find my ideal career path.

I came to college passionate about Genetics, inspired by my older sister who is developmentally disabled. I just didn’t quite know what that looked like in terms of a future career. You’ll never know if you like something until you try it!

I always loved science, but never really considered clinical medicine until after I realized I didn’t want to work in a lab. I always wonder where I would have ended up if I didn’t have that first co-op experience early in my college career. But every experience along the way has helped me to learn more about myself and the things that kept me going each day.

 

Where did you land after you left the University?

I was lucky enough to be accepted to Tufts University School of Medicine – right down the road from NU! I was one of 5 fellow Huskies in my class, which was awesome! Medical school was an awesome experience, and my time at Northeastern definitely prepared me for the trials and tribulations of life as a med student.

 

You’re currently at MGH as a Pediatric Resident Physician. What’s a normal day look like for you?

Yes! I am currently in my third and last year, and will be graduating in June! Every day is truly different and unpredictable.

We rotate through various parts of the hospital (Emergency Room, PICU, newborn nursery, NICU etc) and with various sub-specialties (Oncology, Cardiology, Pulmonary, etc) so each block is very different and your role is ever-changing.

This makes life as a resident exciting, but also stressful. We work days, nights, weekends, and 24 hours shifts. On a typical day on an inpatient unit (just to give you a rough idea), we get sign out from the overnight team at around 6:30 am.

We have lectures around 8 am, and spend the morning rounding, or going room to room to see each patient. The team usually consists of a senior resident, and intern, and a couple of medical students. We examine our patients, make a treatment plan, talk with families, and order any tests or labs that are needed.

The afternoons are for learning, following up on results, and admitting new kids to the hospital! There are rarely dull moments. I see sick children in the Emergency one day, and well children in clinic the next! I love attending deliveries of newborns – my favorite thing ever is showing a brand new dad how to cut the umbilical cord. The various reactions and responses are priceless!

 

Do you find the work rewarding?

I may be bias, but it is hard for me to imagine anything more fun or rewarding than taking care of children.

They are incredibly resilient, wise, and loving. We dress up for holidays at work, partake in crafts, birthday parties, and last day of chemo celebrations.

The work is hard, but there aren’t many days when I’m not smiling. My co-residents are also amazing, and I like to think that Pediatricians in particular are just nice and genuine people- one of the biggest things that drew me to the field in the first place!

 

With the COVID-19 outbreak, can you talk about your current role is and how work at MGH has evolved over the past couple weeks?

What an unprecedented time.

Today is March 16th, and I know things will be much different 1 week from now. MGH is full of incredibly smart and hard working people who having been working endless hours to keep our community safe, and I am honored to be part of such an institution.

Life as a resident has changed dramatically – all elective rotations or roles that are not necessary have been cancelled. We have actually been cutting back on the number of residents in the hospital to limit potential exposures amongst staff. Many of us are at home on back-up call, practicing social distancing and staying healthy until we will have to replace others that become sick.

We have continued having educational conferences virtually, while supporting those on the front lines until we get called in to work.

Based on some recent research, children are less severely affected by the virus, so our department is prepared to help out on the adult side when necessary. There has been a lot of careful preparation for whatever the next few days/weeks throw at us.

 

Is there anything you’re not hearing discussed enough when it comes to the outbreak that could help people be proactive and stay safe?

I encourage people to visit the CDC website for the most up to date information, as recommendations have been changing by the hour.

But I will say, this is not a time to be cavalier about the coronavirus. While you may not feel at risk as a young, healthy, college student, the downstream effects of transmission are extremely frightening.

We need to prevent the collapse of our medical system and every decision you make counts. Wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, and don’t hang out with large groups of people.

Help each other out! Grab groceries for an elderly neighbor; offer to pick up things for friends if making a trip to the store.

And finally, stay connected with friends and families virtually! These are trying times, and we can all use each other’s support. Keep an eye out for virtual concerts (ie Dropkick Murphy’s St. Patrick Day show, or the MET Opera, who will be streaming shows for free!) and free yoga and exercise classes that can be done from home.

March 19, 2020

Your Careers Starts Here. Apply Now.