Undergraduate Studies at the TechnionFaculty of Biology at the Technion

Undergraduate Studies- Faculty of Biology and Life Sciences

 BIOLOGY

Why biology in particular?

Biology integrates advanced research in all life science disciplines. The advance of modern genetic engineering methods has lead in recent years to major  discoveries such as the deciphering of the human genome sequence, as well as breakthroughs in translational science that have led to the biotechnology revolution. Many scientists and engineers are now seeking collaboration with biologists in order to promote cutting edge research.

 

What does a degree in biology lead to?

The biological/biotechnological revolution has led to high demand for scientists with wide and deep biological background. Indeed, we find our graduates integrating into a wide range of occupations including: Universities, established  biotech industries, startup initiatives, the healthcare system, education, nature preservation organizations, defense,, the pharmaceutical industry, improvement of livestock and crops through genetic engineering, bioinformatics etc.

 

 Why choose the Technion?

The study program confers a deep knowledge of molecular and cellular biology, areas that form the basis for modern biotechnological industry. Members of the Faculty of Biology share with the students their expertise in diverse areas of modern biological research. Faculty members study diverse organisms, from bacteria through fungi, worms and insects to plants and mammalian cells, including human cell models. Research includes gene structure and function, the molecular basis of cancer, cell structure and signal transduction, bioinformatics, developmental biology and ecology. Examples of translational research are development of genetically engineered plants for modern agriculture, design of antibodies against malignant tumors, and identification of target molecules in disease-causing parasites.

 

Multidisciplinary programs

Biology has study tracks in collaboration with the Faculty of Chemistry (Molecular Biochemistry), Medicine (Medical Laboratory Sciences), Computer Sciences (Computer Science with focus on Bioinformatics), and Chemical Engineering (Biochemical Engineering). This allows students to integrate biological studies with other disciplines, in line with ongoing trends in science and engineering education.

 

Students who study biology through the Department of Science Education will receive a license to work as high school teachers.


Alumni

My name is Aviv Sharon, graduate of the Biology track summa cum laude, September 2011.

I chose to study biology as I saw this as an attractive area. Studies indicate that biology is the most popular scientific field with both students and graduates, and it’s not difficult to guess why. Biologists study a broad range of phenomena, from diseases such as malaria to brain function in memory and learning. Biologists strive to understand the world around us, from deciphering the meaning of DNA codes to ecological phenomena influencing our globe. They also discover natural phenomena that can be adapted to innovations, from anti-cancer drugs to biological fuels that may one day replace the limited supplies of fossil fuels.

Like you, I was also considering how I will make a living with a degree in biology; with time though, I was convinced that the degree provides such a broad background that I will always be able to rely upon it for work in research, industry, teaching, the healthcare system etc. Over the years, I came to the realization that biology develops so rapidly that the range of biology-based applications will only increase, and so will the range and number of positions that can only be filled by those having a biological education.

In the first place, I had the opportunity to study biology from a group of experts, each in his/her area of research. Thus, for example, during the first year I studied biochemistry with a researcher who is developing a blood test for early cancer diagnosis. During the second year I learned microbiology from a faculty member who is studying a broad range of bacteria whose existence has been elusive till recent years. Researchers often bring an example from new scientific discoveries, and make a connection between the material under study and the research in their lab, a professional level that is difficult to attain outside research universities in general, and the Technion in particular.

The second reason: I appreciated the practical experience in the lab all along my studies such as observation in living organisms-sharks during the first semester, genetic hybridization in Drosophila flies during the second year, and genetic engineering in bacteria and human cells during the last semester. In addition, as part of the degree students can integrate in a research lab during the second half of the study program and carry out a research project. This has been a real research experience, where I learned how to plan and carry out experiments designed to make new discoveries. The discoveries that result from the research project often lead to integration of the student in the lab for a masters degree upon completion of the undergraduate study program.

The third reason is the pleasant approach of faculty members to students, and their willingness to help. As the student representative, I got the clear impression that the faculty cares about the teaching level and the attitude towards students, and that there is willingness to involve student representatives in various initiatives. Faculty members are willing to help in different ways: understanding the study material, expansion on interesting topics, directing the student to further references, and resolving academic issues. This is not to be taken for granted in the university environment, and the approach of the faculty adds a lot to the learning experience.

In conclusion, I warmly recommend the faculty of biology at Technion to those interested in studying an ever-changing science, in gaining research experience, and at the same time dwell in a pleasant and supportive environment.


Eyal Resnick, a Molecular Biochemistry student

Before enrolling at Technion, I had a hard time deciding between biology and chemistry studies, and was actually considering dual-degree track. When I attended the “Open Day” at Technion I learned about the Molecular Biochemistry degree which integrates both disciplines in a single, 3-year degree.

 Even though the studies in each field are somewhat less profound than those provided in the full study program in each discipline, there are clear advantages to the broader studies, which open the way to further studies or work in broader areas, as well as providing solutions to research problems from one discipline to the other. An important aspect is the option of graduates of the Molecular Biochemistry program to continue to graduate studies in biology or in chemistry at their will.

 Now, towards the completion of the BSc degree, I started research work in a laboratory at the Faculty of Chemistry, where I intend to remain for my MSc research. One of the research topics in this lab is the design of molecules that can aid in the fight against cancer, combining knowledge in biology and in chemistry.

 Studies at Technion are not easy, but this is not in vain, this is a world-class institution, as noted in a number of international surveys that appear from time to time.

I wish success to those who decide to join the Molecular Biochemistry track.