Molecular Biology is a field, commonly referred to as genetic engineering. This field covers a wide variety of topics including DNA analysis, genome mapping, cell functioning, biotechnology and genetic engineering.
Molecular Biology has been gradually developing over the last century through the flow of new information in biological systems, biochemistry, microbiology, and techniques in genetics. Its development has been significantly accelerated with the birth of “Polymerase Chain Reaction” (PCR) in the eighties.
Molecular Biology has been widely used in daily testing and in multiple fundamental, medical, biotechnology research projects, ever since. Certainly, Molecular Biology would be for the 21st century much more than what microscopy had been for the 20th century.
Molecular Biology offers valuable tools for research laboratories, screening of genetic diseases, fingerprinting in forensic medicine, histocompatibility in organ transplantation, identification of microbes, infectious diseases and drug-resistance, cancer studies, genotype-phenotype interrelationships, quality control, biotechnology, agriculture and many other applications.
The Specialty Program in Molecular Biology at AUST is divided into two parts:
The first part is dedicated to familiarize students with topics related to Molecular Biology: Bioorganic Chemistry (selected topics related to biotechnology and Molecular Biology),Genetics (mechanisms of inheritance, genetic disorders, pedigree analysis, population genetics) and Molecular Biology (nucleic acids, genes and chromosomes).
The second part culminates in a series of courses that are rich in applications and practical laboratory training. These courses include nucleic acid analysis and diagnostics, DNA fingerprinting, DNA sequencing, DNA synthesis, gene cloning, genetic engineering, bioinformatics and other tools in nucleic acid research.