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Industrial Biotechnology


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the minor Molecular Biotechnology.
Students should have a background in Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics. Students should be familiar with molecular techniques, such as PCR, cloning, protein biochemistry and “omics” techniques.


Lectures by IBL staff and guest speakers introduce the importance of microorganism in contributing to our daily life and how microbial biotechnology can help our society to deal with for example the food supply for growing world population. Many lecturers will highlight the importance of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) for biotechnology and the possibilities that microorganisms offer to reach UN defined sustainability goals.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, students are able to:
1. Explain the benefits and consequences of cellular heterogeneity in bacteria and indicate what the disadvantages of heterogeneity are in industrial settings.  

  1. Apply their knowledge on transcriptional regulation of metabolic or enzyme networks in relation to protein production in cell factories.  

  2. Reproduce the major bottlenecks in relation to recombinant protein production in cell factories and are familiar with research removing these bottlenecks.  

  3. Name the latest molecular genetic tools for genetic modification of micro-organisms and can apply this knowledge to improve industrial processes.  

  4. Discriminate between different protein translocation mechanisms in bacteria and reminder the molecular mechanism.  

  5. Appoint functions of secondary metabolites, the way they are organized in genomes and can reproduce approaches to activate silent gene clusters.  

  6. Reproduce major problems related to plastic degradation and can describe the different enzymes involved in plastic degradation and how to discover them.  

  7. Explain the advantage of using pseudomonas for the production of certain products. 

  8. Learn to collaborate in small groups by preparing a presentation about a small Biotechnology company and translate this knowledge into a coherent presentation for fellow students. 

  9. Describe the possibilities related to a potential future career in Biotechnology and to collect information via the guest speakers from the industry. 


A detailed schedule will be provided on Brightspace before the start of the course.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, case studies, writing reports,

Assessment method

The final grade consists of the following partial grades:

  • presentation 10% (minimum grade 6,0)

  • Exam: minimum grade: 5,6

Students can make an appointment with the coordinator to have look at their exam. Teachers will be available to discuss the questions and answers during appointment.

Reading list

Course material will be provided by the teachers, at least in part via Brightspace


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information. Exemptions are minor students and fall semester for 1st year bachelor students: the student administration will enroll these groups for courses.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.


Coordinator: Dr. A.J.F. Ram Email:


Brightspace will be used for communication and exchange of documents.