Biotechnology at MassBay

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Biotech Programs

The different programs offered by the Biotechnology Department at MassBay are nationally and internationally renowned and exceedingly rigorous. Each student is trained through different research projects and real life cases that apply to their major. MassBay’s Biotechnology students are considered scientific elite by the federal government and the biotechnology industry worldwide.


MassBay offers the following programs:

Our biotechnology program is internationally renowned and offers exciting, hands-on and research-based study in this rapidly expanding scientific area. Through their participation in national research collaborations, students are trained in the scientific disciplines most in demand by the biotechnology industry and government laboratories, including recombinant DNA technology, mammalian cell culture, and chromatography with special emphasis on High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Biotechnology students intern at some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world, such as Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston), Boston Medical Center, the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Moscow State University (Russia), University of the Amazon (Brazil), and the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (Canada). Upon completion, the Associate in Science Degree in Biotechnology is awarded.

Biotechnology: Forensic DNA Science
The Forensic DNA program at Massachusetts Bay Community College is the first and only undergraduate program in this field in the world. Our students have hands-on, specialized training that enables them to excel in this new and exciting field. The Forensic DNA program at Massachusetts Bay Community College is the first and only undergraduate program in this field in the world. Our students have hands-on, specialized training that enables them to excel in this new and exciting field. The Forensic DNA Science Program at MassBay Community College was the first degree program in DNA analysis in the world and remains the world’s only such undergraduate degree program. The scientific prowess of MassBay forensic students is refined by two consecutive years of exciting, hands-on forensic work in real criminal and anthropological cases.


Students have the rare opportunity to work on actual criminal and anthropological forensic DNA cases with the Biotech Program Director, Dr. Bruce Jackson, who is a noted forensic DNA expert in the United States and abroad; cases such as:
The “Lady of the Dunes” cold murder case; identification of remains of unknown 1974 Massachusetts female murder victim via mtDNA analysis.
The “Portsmouth, New Hampshire Slave Burial Ground Project”; determination of the ethnicity of the remains of 13 individuals accidentally exhumed from a 17th century NH slave burial ground via mtDNA analysis.
President James Madison Lineage Case: Y-chromosome DNA analysis is employed to verify the paternal ancestry of an African-American family to President Madison who allegedly fathered a child with a slave.
The hands-on training of forensic students confers a mastery of allelic techniques such as: Profiler™, Identifiler Plus™ as well as amelogenin sex typing and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis of human remains. MassBay forensic students complete their degrees with rigorous internships with one of the program’s many renowned forensic partners, including: Armed Forces DNA Identification Labs (AFDIL), the FBI Forensic Labs, Czech Forensic Service, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Forensic Labs at Ontario.

Biotechnology: Marine Biotechnology
MassBay’s Marine Biotechnology Program trains students in the scientific areas where marine biology and molecular biology intersect. The highly interdisciplinary training of Marine Biotech students occurs through two exciting and relevant “Grand Projects” and confers on students the sophistication to apply molecular methodologies to study marine problems. The first entails an exhilarating, ongoing, interdisciplinary research with an international consortium of scientists studying of the ecological impact of the active Souiffre Hills volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, West Indies (British Lesser Antilles). The geological records of Montserrat, spanning thousands of years, and its barren, moon-like landscapes of ash-covered terrain provide a mesmerizing and unrivaled site for interdisciplinary research on geological stress, environmental restoration and species adaptation. Montserrat captivates the scientifically uninitiated and excites the beginning undergraduate science scholar for the marine biotechnology. The second entails a genetic study of marine organisms of Boston Harbor.

The goal of the Marine Biotechnology option is to train individuals to work as technicians in sophisticated field and laboratory settings where multiple molecular disciplines converge to solve complex marine problems. The emphasis of this program, however, is to provide extensive and novel research experiences, career mentoring and academic bridging networks for the individual whose career goal is to work in the marine sciences as an independent, doctoral-level investigator. Marine Biotechnology applies technology and molecular biology to marine biology systems, living organisms (e.g., algae, fish, or plankton) or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use such as pharmaceuticals and food. Hence, the program’s training entails the integration of molecular biology and marine sciences.