The Department of Biotechnology at IIT Madras was founded in 2004 with a vision to be recognized as a Department of International repute with a strong interdisciplinary research and teaching base in biological sciences and engineering and an active collaboration with industries and health-care institutions. The department is housed in the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences. Currently the department has 31 faculty members, about 235 under graduate students, 186 Ph.D. and 20 M.S. Research Scholars, associated staff and Adjunct Faculty.
These are exciting and challenging times for Biotechnologists. Modern biotechnology, finds applications in a variety of domains such as in the manufacture of high-technology pharmaceuticals as well as in the making of enzymes for the detergents we use for washing our clothes. With expanding knowledge of the cell and its functioning at the molecular level, biotechnologists are now seeking answers to prevent life threatening diseases, to meet the energy and food requirements of ever-growing population and also to solve the environmental problems that threaten our very existence on this planet. The diversity of challenges that Biotechnology tackle is reflected in the research activities of the faculty of Biotechnology at IIT Madras. Although there are many different research groups in the department, their research generally falls into one or more of the following categories: medical biotechnology related to cancer and cardiovascular aspects, chemical biology, computational biology and bioprocesses.