About the Department
The Department of Microbiology in the Self-Financed Stream was established in the academic year 2002-03 with a mission to impart quality education and carry out research in applied microbiology. Currently, the department offers B. Sc. Microbiology and M. Sc. Applied Microbiology programmes and the curricula for these courses are set based on the industry needs. The syllabi are tailor-made to suit the current market requirements and are updated regularly. Efforts are being undertaken for upgrading the department into a full-fledged research facility.
The department boasts of a team of highly-efficient and well-qualified teaching faculty with fairly good experience in teaching and research. There is a breadth of research expertise among the faculty members, with each of them specializing in different thrust areas. The faculty members also serve as resource persons at various occasions in other colleges/institutions of repute. To enhance the cognitive skills and knowledge of the faculty members, the department organizes faculty development programmes every year in the form of a lecture, workshop or hands-on training.
Diverse group of students from all parts of the country and from other countries pursue the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in microbiology. The amicable student community represents a culture constituting different race, creed and ethnicities.
Each year, 50 students are enrolled based on merit to the undergraduate course in microbiology leading to the three-year Bachelor of Science degree. Likewise, there is an intake of 26 students for the two-year Master of Science degree in Applied Microbiology. All the degrees are affiliated to the University of Madras.
The undergraduate/postgraduate programmes are designed in such a manner that students are exposed to both basic and applied concepts of the subject. The modern subject areas of molecular biology, rDNA technology, immunology, biochemistry and bioinformatics as well as the applied subjects such as industrial biotechnology, food microbiology, medical microbiology, pharmaceutical microbiology and environmental microbiology are offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Some special subjects such as nanobiotechnology, forensic microbiology, biostatistics and computer applications in biology are included in both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, and subjects such as research methodology, pharmacovigilance and IPR are offered at the postgraduate level.
Scope of the Subject
Microbiological research is one of the forefront areas as of date with enormous funding available throughout the globe in the areas of medicine, agriculture and environment. Therefore, ample research opportunities are available in many national and international research laboratories. Similarly, career opportunities are also aplenty for Microbiology graduates/post-graduates in many core areas such as pharmaceutical & nutraceutical sectors, hospitals, analytical laboratories, fermentation industries, food and dairy industries, catering industries, flight catering, confectioneries, bioenergy sector, etc., and in allied areas such as clinical research, pharmacovigilance, energy and environment auditing, food auditing, content writing, online teaching, etc.
Through the technical forum, the department frequently organizes invited lectures from renowned experts and also conducts national/international conferences in different areas of microbiology/biotechnology/life sciences as the annual technical event. The department also encourages many student-centred activities like Post-graduate Journal Club, Environment, Health and Sanitation Club, Magmeet for undergraduate students, and publishing of Department Newsletters.
The department has two separate well-equipped laboratories for B.Sc. and M.Sc. programmes, respectively. The department has all the necessary facilities required for modern-day teaching including smart classrooms and major equipments such as binocular microscopes, phasecontrast/ dark field microscope, BOD incubator, PCR machines, Gel documentation system, photomicrography facility, uv-visible spectrophotometer, ELISA systems, laminar safety cabinets, deep freezers, cooling centrifuge, orbital shakers, tissue homogenizer, digital precision balance etc.
Industrial visits/Internships/In-plant trainings
Frequent industrial visits as part of the curricula are arranged for the students to have a glimpse of the role of microbiologists in various production facilities and to learn the nuances of production and quality aspects. Students are also encouraged to undergo summer internships/inplant trainings/project training in different research laboratories/industries. Postgraduate students are required to carry out a project work and submit the dissertation. Many students present their findings in various national and international scientific journals/conferences.
Our students have been placed in reputed companies such as Tata Chemicals Ltd., Sachika,Lifecell, Thomson Reuters, etc. under the campus placements drive, and many students have been placed in various companies through off-campus recruitments. Some of our students have pursued higher studies in universities of national and international repute such as University of Leeds, University of Göttingen, National University of Singapore, Jawaharlal Nehru University, National Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Pondicherry University, etc.
In recent years, Ms. Natasha Andrea Rajkumar, Ms. K. Ashisha and Mr. Roshan Samuel Mathews of B.Sc. have completed a three-year summer fellowship programme (only 10 fellowships are offered at the national level) leading to Diploma in Biology from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific research, Bangalore. During 2018, Ms. Bidisha Mandal of M.Sc. has been selected for Indian Academies’ summer internship programme. During the last two years, Ms. Aakriti Rastogi, Mr. Abhijit Sharma and Ms. Aiswarya Ashokan have worked their M.Sc. dissertation under Students’ Projects Scheme funded by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology. Many of our students have also won best presentation awards in national and international conferences.