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Fundamentals of Molecular Biotechnology

The global biotechnology industry enjoys more success and influence than ever before. Their innovations continue to improve the lives of people worldwide. Industrial biotechnology uses biological systems for the production of, among others, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, anti-tumor agents, anti-clotting factors, antibodies, but also food additives and biofuels. This minor provides a comprehensive overview of the fascinating field of modern biotechnology. The discovery, exploitation and commercialization of some of our best natural products will be discussed including legal aspects of patenting. The students will familiarize themselves with the biotechnology-oriented research that is carried out at our University and in the Leiden Bioscience Park. In the last part of the minor, students will bring their theoretical background into practice in a course aiming to solve a biotechnology-oriented problem with modern genetic engineering approaches. This minor provides a sound basis for students aiming for a future in biotechnology.

General information
Size: 30 EC
Language: English
Number of participants: minimum 15, maximum 50
Coordinator: Dr. D. Claessen
Information: J.H.J. Gorter, MSc

The minor is open to students with a keen interest and preferably a sound background in molecular biology and genetics, e.g. students from Biology, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, Life Sciences & Technology, Molecular Science and Technology and Biomedical Sciences. Students from other disciplines interested in the Minor can be admitted after an interview to evaluate their motivation. In case of a lack of background in molecular biology students can be asked to study selected parts of textbooks before the start of the minor.

The minor is provided by the Bachelor Biology.

Registration: from May 1 until August 15 via uSis.
Enroll by entering the class number (‘studieactiviteit nummer’): 2025

Students from other universities can register by sending an e-mail to J.H.J. Gorter, MSc


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Exploitation of Natural Products 6
Biotechnology: from Gene to Bio-based Product 6
Medical Biotechnology 6
Research Design: from Innovative Idea to Research Proposal 6
Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life 6

More info

The programme of the 30 EC Minor consists of six full-time courses:

  • Exploitation of Natural Products (6 EC)

  • Biotechnology: from Gene to Biobased Product (6 EC)

  • Medical Biotechnology** (6 EC)

  • Research Design: from Innovative Idea to Research Proposal (6EC)

  • Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life (6 EC)

    ** Students can choose to only follow the first half of this course for an accreditation of 3 EC. Students can choose to follow Exploitation of Natural Products, Biotechnology: from Gene to Biobased Product and the first half of the Medical Biotechnology course, in total 15 ECTS. These courses will give a broad theoretical insight in the field of biotechnology.

It is not possible to only follow the second half of the Minor program, as the information provided in the first half of the Minor is critical for the practical course (Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life).