Research Field Biotechnology

Modern biotechnology makes use of nature to generate goods and services for human needs.  Bacteria, yeasts and even animal cells are used to produce an incredible range of different products. The targeted use of microorganisms makes it possible, for example, to use natural resources to produce platform chemicals such as ethanol, citric acid or 1.2-propanediol and thus close the ecological cycle. In the pharmacy sector, bioengineered products such as antibiotics, insulin, antibodies for cancer therapies and vaccines have become indispensable.


Current research goals include the discovery of new substances and processes for the manufacture of chemicals and medicines that enable the efficient production of pharmaceuticals, thereby improving access to medicines for all in need. The development of patient-specific therapies and bioinformatic analyses as well as appropriate diagnoses are often the only means to provide a targeted treatment (personalized medicine) of newly developed products and are therefore an essential part of this development. The Department of Bioengineering specializes primarily in the research areas Bioinformatics and Bioprocess Engineering.

Research Focus

Bioinformatics

In the field of bioinformatics we are concerned with the genetic basis and the function of microorganisms. We decode the DNA of unknown species and explore the dynamic interactions of microbial communities.


New methods of analysis, especially in the field of sequencing, have revolutionized the life sciences. The enormous amounts of data lead to a rethinking in the use and processing of biological data. Bioinformatics offers us the tools to efficiently answer the increasingly complex issues in the life sciences. Our research group is concerned with the analysis, interpretation and visualization of DNA and RNA sequence data.

  • De novo assembly and annotation of microbial genomes to study new expression organisms
  • Gene expression studies for production optimization
  • Understanding regulatory elements in microbial genomes
  • Metagenomic studies of the human microbiome and its interaction with the environment

    Bioprocess Engineering

    In the research focus of bioprocess engineering, we are involved in the development and optimization of biotechnological production processes.

    Our goal is to economically optimize the entire process in terms of product quality and safety.

    • Evaluation of new unit operations for process intensification, in particular methods for the clarification of culture supernatants
    • Studies on the scalability of processes (experiments in the VIBT pilot plant)
    • Economic analysis of biopharmaceutical production processes

    Team

    > Dr.in Sabine Gruber (UIBK)

    > Dr.in Lisa Kappel (UIBK)


    Degree programs

    Bioengineering

    Bachelor, part-time

    more

    Bioinformatics

    Master, part-time

    more

    Biotechnological Quality Management

    Master, part-time

    more

    Bioprocess Technology

    Master, part-time

    more