A two-course seminar sequence in the fall and spring semesters, in which students engage directly with the primary scientific literature that underpins biotechnology innovations and explores key considerations (e.g., ethical, operational, regulatory) in the commercialization process.
M.S. in Commerce | Academics
The 21st century is poised to be an era of unprecedented productivity and innovation in life sciences. In particular, biotechnology will define the coming decades, just as information technology has been a dominant force in shaping modern life today. As the global pandemic has shown, such innovation has the potential to be transformative—addressing key health, medical, and humanitarian challenges around the world. However, maximizing opportunities for novel scientific discoveries and responding to global challenges will require skilled and versatile professionals who understand both the science of biotechnology and the business of commercialization.
Designed for life science majors who are interested in solving complex societal challenges, McIntire's M.S. in Commerce Biotechnology Track will prepare you for a career at the intersection of science, business, and society.
Understand how to successfully commercialize breakthrough life science technologies that have high potential to generate social and economic value
Deeply engage with primary scientific literature that generates biotechnology innovations
Develop commercialization plans and learn how to assess operating models and regulatory pathways
Learn from leading scientists, faculty, and industry executives
Prepare to successfully contribute to organizations seeking to positively impact human health and well-being
Frontiers in Biotechnology I and II
Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization
This course focuses on how to successfully commercialize breakthrough technologies that have high potential to generate social and/or economic value. The course covers issues related to identifying market needs and potential, developing commercialization plans, and understanding business models and entrepreneurial strategy.
Learn how to analyze and interpret quantifiable data. Explore the analytical options in biomedical settings and the application of statistical techniques to research in health-related fields, such as interpreting the results of a clinical trial or case study.
- Clinical Trials Methodology
Covers the design and analysis of Phase I-III clinical trials. Topics include choice of study population and endpoints, choice of study design and sample size estimation, randomization and masking, patient recruitment, data collection and quality control, data monitoring committees, data analysis, and the interpretation and reporting of results.
- Predictive Analytics with Low Code Tech
Predictive analytics leverage the vast data resources available today to identify trends and patterns that are critical to enhancing business performance. This course introduces students to contemporary predictive modeling techniques implemented using a variety of low-code tools and demonstrates how to practically apply them to real-world business decisions.
- AI for Consultants
Algorithms are an essential, yet largely invisible, component of modern society. They are used to automate business rules, policies, and decision-making. Artificial Intelligence (AI) combines algorithms in complex, data-driven ways with often difficult to predict outcomes. This course helps students understand the potential benefits and harms of AI and algorithms to individuals, organizations, and society. Topics include ethical frameworks for understanding technology; understanding and assessing sources of algorithmic bias; applications of AI in finance, management, marketing, and analytics; regulation of AI; and guidelines for ethical implementation of AI. The course incorporates guest speakers from a variety of industries and job functions; includes a brief hands-on introduction to Google Cloud AI; and requires students to complete a report on an AI-powered technology deployment.
- Python for Data Science
During the first half of the course, students will learn key concepts, including installing Python and working with Jupyter Notebook, understanding Python objects and data types, working with base Python structures (e.g., lists, dictionaries), importing packages and additional data structures (e.g., NumPy arrays, pandas DataFrames), utilizing control flow statements, reading and writing data, manipulating data, plotting (e.g., Matplotlib, seaborn, Plotly), and developing functions. In the second half of the course, students will apply these concepts hands-on by performing predictive analytics via machine learning using industry-standard packages (e.g., scikit-learn).
- Design and Innovation in Medicine
This course provides a project-based grounding in biomedical product design, with emphasis on clinical immersion and topics including design fundamentals, problem/needs identification, delineation of realistic constraints and product specifications, intellectual property, market analysis, entrepreneurship, specific advanced design topics, business plan development, venture funding, and medical product testing methods.
- Recent Advances in Public Health Genomics
The course covers the fundamentals in human genetics and genomics, including the basics of the human/mammalian genome; genome variation; determination of genomic variation on phenotype and disease risk; mapping and characterizing genetic variants on phenotype; determining the putative impact of genetic variants on gene expression (transcriptomics, epigenomics); the promise and implications of genome science on precision medicine; and the ethical, legal, and social impact of personalized genomes.
- Tissue Engineering
This course introduces the fundamental principles of tissue engineering. Topics include tissue organization and dynamics, cell and tissue characterization, cell-matrix interactions, transport processes in engineered tissues, biomaterials and biological interfaces, stem cells and interacting cell fate processes, and tissue engineering methods. Examples of approaches for regeneration of cartilage, bone, ligament, tendons, skin and liver are presented.
- Bioprocess and Bioproduct Engineering
The course reviews the application of engineering to the development and commercialization of vaccines and biologics. Vaccines and biologics are much more complex than small molecule drug products and present unique challenges for successful commercialization and impact on human health. The course focuses on “what, when, and where” in the bioproduct development lifecycle that engineering enables and contributes to successful products. This course includes an overview of vaccines and biologics from historical context, product technologies, process technologies, analytical technologies, immunology, clinical and regulatory considerations, economics, ethics, and medical impact on global human health.
- Biochemical Engineering
Biochemical engineers apply basic chemical engineering principles to the design and understanding of biochemical and biological processes. In this course, we will focus primarily on the development and application of whole cell bioprocesses for the production of chemicals, food, biofuels, and pharmaceuticals, as well as applications in bioremediation and wastewater treatment. Topics include enzyme kinetics, enzymatic processes, microbial growth kinetics, bioreactor design/operation, bioreactor scale-up, and applications. We will also introduce contemporary topics in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology via case studies, and discuss the role that these techniques have played in shaping the current biochemical engineering discipline (e.g., research, industry, ethics).