Cross-Disciplinary Minor

Each student completes a minor with a focus on cross disciplinary training. A minor professor from a discipline outside of the student's doctoral field helps organize a minor degree course program. Trainees in physical sciences must take courses in biological sciences, and trainees in biological sciences must take courses in physical sciences. A common core to the biotechnology program is that all trainees receive training in molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry/physiology. The biologically oriented student is expected to acquire this either through prior training or during completion of the major degree requirements.

This trainee then uses the minor course program to acquire cross disciplinary training in chemistry, chemical engineering, or computational science. Some core courses are required, including the BTP student seminar, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Foundations in Biotechnology, which introduces trainees to intellectual property concerns and elements of entrepreneurship, and are assigned to cross-disciplinary teams that develop a new approach to an important research problem or issue of their choosing.

The teams research and develop a cross-disciplinary proposal either to request grant funding for a new approach to solve an important problem or to develop a new commercial product to meet the needs of society. Trainees may wish to further pursue this proposal if it fits into their doctoral research.

One of the integral elements of the program is active reciprocal involvement with industry. This includes internships in industry, the annual Winter Banquet, the newsletter, speakers from industry, and other opportunities for interchange.






Biochemistry Department
433 Babcock Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1544

Brian Fox, Director