Biotechnology | Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Biotechnology

College of Biological and Environmental Sciences
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"We decipher life to achieve development and responsible innovation"

Biotechnology

Degree
Biotechnology Engineer
Duration
9 semesters
Teaching Mode
Face to Face Learning
CES Initial Approval Resolution
RPC-SO-22-No.366-2016
CES Updated Approval Resolution
RPC-SO-03-No.043-2020
Description

 

 

In the Biotechnology program, students learn the concepts and processes on which the functioning of living beings is based, and with this knowledge, they can develop the necessary skills to create new products, improve plants and animals, and obtain microorganisms for specific functions. The program focuses on four main areas of biotechnological development: Health, Environment, Agriculture/Livestock, and Food Industry, through the study of sciences such as Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Mathematics, among others.

We train professionals that will apply this type of knowledge in the development of the country’s strategic sectors such as the agro-export, livestock, mining, oil, industrial, food, medical, and biodiversity and environmental conservation. In this sense, the different problems that may arise in areas at the national and international levels are explored to find solutions and contribute to the well-being of our society.

Advantages

  • Professors with the highest personal and professional quality, with extensive academic and scientific experience and with excellent training (Ph.D. and M.S.) from universities with recognized international experience.
  • Curriculum designed to train leaders with solid knowledge in biotechnological processes from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • Curriculum that integrates theoretical and practical experiences.
  • Educational environment that fosters the development of free, enterprising, creative, and innovative people.
  • Teaching and research laboratories equipped with the latest materials and technology in Plant Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Molecular Biology, and Microbiology.
  • Scientific stations in different regions of the country such as the Galapagos and Tiputini, where students have the opportunity to explore and get involved with various research projects. 
  • Laboratory practices that are updated periodically so that students learn about recent biotechnological developments.
  • Scientific research programs in multiple areas of biological and environmental sciences where undergraduate and graduate students actively participate.
  • High bibliographic production (50 annual publications on average) in internationally indexed scientific journals.
  • Student exchange programs and scientific research agreements with more than 150 universities around the world. • Agreements with national and foreign organizations for internships and volunteering opportunities.
  • Agreements with scientific institutions in the Sierra, Costa, Amazonia, and Galapagos for the use of additional education and research facilities.
  • An academic program of excellence where our graduates have the opportunity to choose the professional field or postgraduate programs where they are immediately admitted.

Professional field

The Biotechnology program trains individuals with solid knowledge in Biology, Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and Microbiology, among others, and with experience in handling modern techniques that are used in biotechnological application fields. The graduate student in Biotechnology will maintain the spirit of the Liberal Arts and will have an integral vision of the different fields that Biotechnology covers, concentrating on four main areas: Medicine, Agriculture/Livestock, Environment, and Food Industry, so that they can apply this knowledge in the development and progress of sectors of economic importance for the country such as the agro-export sector, the oil industry, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, medical laboratories, and the conservation of biodiversity. Biotechnology is based on academic principles; this allows the student to apply their knowledge at an industrial level with the possibility of establishing their own business, company, or laboratory, and/or developing new products. Likewise, this major graduates have a deep knowledge of how research projects are carried out, so they can choose master's or doctorate degrees both nationally and internationally.

Professional Profile

The USFQ Biotechnology Engineer: 

  • Explores, knows, and masters the main fields of biotechnology development at national and international levels.
  • Makes decisions in the industrial and research field applying analytical and creative strategies according to the needs of the market and the needs of conservation and environmental management that guarantee sustainable development.
  • This is a program that knows no limits, either from the academic, business, technological, or even political sectors: the Biotechnology Engineering graduate is prepared to interact on all scales; universities, research groups, research institutes, industry, multinational companies, governments, and NGOs.

Testimonials

Student Testimonials:

"In 2001 when I started studying Biotechnology at USFQ I had high expectations. It was honestly an incredible opportunity because the program is very broad and helped me see many fields of application. When I graduated in 2007, I chose to continue with a Ph.D. in Genetic Improvement of Plants at Iowa State University. My time at USFQ certainly helped me excel in my doctoral classes. Also, the academic and professional experiences I had at USFQ prepared me for new challenges. I was lucky to have great mentors, all excellent professionals in their area, but above all of great human quality. They gave me the best advice and guidelines to continue advancing my career. Today, I live in the United States and work in Corteva. I am the leader of Data Science and Informatics for Systems of Innovation in Breeding and Seed Products. Of the various stages I have had in my career, studying biotechnology at USFQ is undoubtedly one of the most valuable and pleasant of all. Beyond academic excellence and professional opportunities, I have fond memories and teachings from all the people who accompanied me on this path."

- Andrea Arias Aguirre -

“Studying Biotechnology at USFQ has been without a doubt one of the best decisions of my life. The program is not only characterized by having the best teaching staff and the best research infrastructure in the country, but also stands out for its culture of professional demand, curiosity and entrepreneurship. In Ecuador, few have the opportunity to learn with teachers and researchers who day by day transform our world with innovative ideas and the creation of new knowledge. Those of us who study Biotechnology at USFQ are really lucky.

At the end of my program, I was equipped with all the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed abroad. The technical foundations and research experience gained from USFQ helped me succeed with honors in my master's and doctorate in Plant Genetics at Wageningen University (Netherlands), the best university in agriculture in the world. My USFQ culture, on the other hand, has endowed me with versatility and the ability to master various industrial fronts. In my short career, I have been able to succeed as an academic (both as a researcher at Wageningen University and as a professor at USFQ), and today I have the challenge of guiding a young European biotechnology company focused on the genetic improvement of quinoa. On a personal and professional level, studying at USFQ has been my best bet!”

- Andrés Torres -

“I completed my studies in Biotechnological Process Engineering at the USFQ from 2004 to 2009. I chose this degree because it offered a curriculum that included various areas of application of Biotechnology with strong academic and practical support in high-tech laboratories. Additionally, the USFQ Liberal Arts component trained me as a professional who adapts to different situations and seeks excellence. During my studies I had the opportunity to complete a full one-year exchange scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States. My training at USFQ allowed me to carry out a professional internship in the Biotechnology laboratories at the Calesa Group in Panama. At the end of my studies, I worked for a florist, Grupo Florisol, as Head of Laboratory. Later, I decided to continue my academic training and completed a Master's in Crop Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Nottingham in the UK thanks to a full scholarship. Subsequently, I completed my PhD studies at Cambridge University in the UK where I obtained my Ph.D. in Plant Sciences. Finally, in January 2019 I started a postdoctoral program at the University of California-Davis in the United States. Without a doubt, thanks to the excellent professors and the academic bases obtained in the area of ​​Biotechnology at USFQ, I was able to work in foreign universities of world prestige without any problem.”

- Ana Lucia Bravo Cazar -

“I consider that one of the main strengths of studying Biotechnology at USFQ is that, due to its Liberal Arts philosophy, students are continuously motivated to get used to thinking and working freely and independently. We are the ones who, reading and researching, are able to connect ideas and draw our own conclusions, always under the guidance of the best tutors.
During the final stage of my program, I was fortunate to work at the USFQ Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, where I completed my undergraduate thesis investigating a gene that controls sexual reproduction in the cocoon. Throughout my thesis, my mentors encouraged me to be the main architect of the project, taking the initiative and losing the fear of making mistakes. I confess that at first it seemed a bit challenging, however, having experienced this freedom and independence helped me to mature as a scientist and to be prepared to face the world and the unknown.

In 2017, I received a scholarship from the Ecuadorian government and with it the opportunity to complete my Master's in Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. During my master's program I was able to see that the training received at USFQ, both technically and intellectually, is on par with the best universities in the world, which allowed me to stand out as a student and graduate with honors.
Studying Biotechnology at USFQ has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life since it sparked my passion for science and trained me as a first-rate scientist. And for me, the exciting thing about science is just that: being able to face the unknown, testing all your physical and mental potential to find solutions to specific problems, while on the way you discover new things and enjoy the process."

- Milton Gordillo -

“I chose a career in Biotechnology to be able to combine my taste for biological sciences and research. USFQ was undoubtedly the best option to pursue my university studies, not only for the quality of its teaching staff but for the excellent infrastructure that allowed me to 'learn-by-doing'. Additionally, thanks to the General College, I was able to combine art, history, and economics classes with subjects that are part of my program, an added value that each USFQ student has. At the end of my degree, I completed my final project in agreement with Gent University (Belgium) which opened the doors for me to complete my postgraduate studies there. Thanks to the solid training received at USFQ, I was able to successfully complete my studies abroad, being the best graduate of my Master's program in 2015. Four years ago I returned to Ecuador and since then I have been working in the R&D area of ​​a multinational floriculture company developing new ornamental varieties for the market. I am grateful to USFQ for having provided me with all the tools to function without any issues in the academic and professional environments, for the great friends and professors that I had the pleasure of meeting and with whom I am pleased to continue collaborating.”

- Jennifer Fiallos -

Academic Faculty

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