BioPh - Curriculum Overview

MBiotech’s Biopharmaceutical (BioPh) curriculum is comprised of both required courses, as well as elective courses. Our curriculum map was developed to provide a visual overview of the BioPh course curriculum, detailing not only courses taken but also the topics/units delivered in each course.


Credit Requirements

Students enrolled in the Biopharmaceuticals specialization of MBiotech are required to complete 9·0 graduate course credits over a 24-month period on a full-time basis. These 9·0 credits are comprised of the following:

  • 8 Science courses (0·5 credit each, for a total of 4·0 credits)
  • 4 Business courses (0·5 credit each, for a total of 2·0 credits)
  • 2 Work Term courses (1·0 credit year term, for a total of 2·0 credits)
  • Electives (1·0 credits)


Required Courses

YEAR 1

Seminar Series (BTC16x0)
BTC1600H  Seminar in Bioscience/Biotechnology I Sep-Dec }

Science Series (BTC17x0)
BTC1700H  Molecular Biology Laboratory Jun-Jul }
BTC1710H  Biomaterials & Protein Chemistry Theory Jun-Aug }
BTC1720H  Biomaterials & Protein Chemistry Laboratory Jul-Aug }

Hybrid Series (BTC18x0)
BTC1800H  Biotechnology in Medicine Sep-Oct }
BTC1810H  Biotechnology & Drug Development May-Aug)
BTC1820H  Biotechnology in Agriculture & Natural Products Oct-Dec }

Work Term Series (BTC19x0)
BTC1900Y  Work Term I Jan-Apr }

Business Series (BTC20x0)
BTC2000H  Effective Management Practices May-Dec }
BTC2010H  Fundamentals of Managerial Concepts Sep-Dec }
BTC2020H  Society, Organisations & Technology Jan-Apr }


YEAR 2

Seminar Series (BTC16x0)
BTC1610H  Seminar in Bioscience/Biotechnology II Sep-Dec }

Work Term Series (BTC19x0)
BTC1910Y  Work Term II May-Aug }

Business Series (BTC20x0)
BTC2030H  Management of Technological Innovation Jan-Apr }


Electives

Hybrid Series (BTC18x0)
BTC1860H  Generations of Advanced Medicine Biologics in Therapy (GAMBiT) Jan-Apr }

Work Term Series (BTC19x0)
BTC1920Y  Work Term III Sep-Dec }

Business Series (BTC20x0)
BTC2040H  Change Management Jan-Apr }

Special Topics Series (BTC21x0)
BTC2100Y  Thesis Project in Biotechnology  COMING SOON }
BTC2110H  Structural Biology in Drug Development & Biotechnology Jan-Apr }
BTC2120H  Decision Analytics in Business, Healthcare & Management Jan-Apr }

IMI Series (IMIxxxx)
IMI3001H  Biocommercialisation I: Analysis of Technology Driven Innovation Sep-Dec }
IMI3003H  Biocommercialisation II COMING SOON }



Course Descriptions


BTC1700H Molecular Biology Laboratory Year 1 }
Session Offered: Summer
Course Instructor: Leigh Revers
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This laboratory-based course introduces fundamental experimental techniques commonly used in biomedical research and provides ‘hands-on’ experience working with nucleic acids and proteins over an intensive six-week schedule. Students receive a practical overview of key protocols over the first week and are provided with same-day, interactive technical demonstrations in a fully equipped ‘wet’ laboratory. This is followed by an extended research assignment in which students work in teams towards expressing and isolating a biomedically relevant, recombinant protein. Teams must design an appropriate research strategy, conduct experiments, collect and analyse data and submit their product with a final report to meet a tight deadline. The course concludes with a final presentation seminar day.
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BTC1710H › Biomaterials & Protein Chemistry Theory Year 1 }
Session Offered: Summer
Course Instructor: Scott Prosser
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This course is designed to enable students to gain a more in-depth appreciation and understanding of the application of materials science and protein chemistry to the field of biotechnology. We delve into advanced drug delivery and therapeutic strategies, biofuels, biomaterials in medicine and ethical and societal issues surrounding these applications.
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BTC1720H › Biomaterials & Protein Chemistry Laboratory Year 1 }
Session: Summer
Instructor: Duncan Jones
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This laboratory course is intended to provide students with hands-on experience with biotechnology applications involving proteins, peptides and biomaterials. The experience will focus on the use of advanced equipment and techniques, and will include experiments that overlap with biotechnology applications involving proteins, DNA and other biomaterials. This will be an intensive five-week course, operating five days a week for eight hours a day including morning lectures and afternoon labs. Students will complete most projects and experiments in teams. A significant component of this course involves a science intensive, business assessment where the students have an opportunity to apply what they have learned.
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BTC1810H › Biotechnology & Drug Development Year 1 }
Session: Summer
Instructor: Timothy Lee
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This course introduces students to some of the key aspects of the biocommercialization process with special emphasis on the healthcare sector. In particular, the course focuses on the fundamental role played by corporate entities in the development of new therapeutic drugs and diagnostic tools in a highly regulated business environment. Topics covered include biologics development and manufacturing, technology transfer, quality and regulatory compliance, medical devices and pandemic response. Students are assigned to work in teams to develop their business proposal and to present their case studies. There will also be a written final exam.
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BTC2000H › Effective Management Practices Year 1 }
Session: Summer & Fall
Instructor: Ann Armstrong
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This course introduces students to the basic skills and concepts needed to become an effective member of an organization. It focuses on (1) team working skills, (2) fundamental managerial skills, and (3) career management skills. The course is participative in its design and requires students to apply the material in the course. It provides the first opportunity for a team approach to problem solving and will provide a realistic preview of the work place.

This course will be used to define and organize groups of students who will work in teams to complete the subsequent laboratory modules.
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BTC1800H › Biotechnology in Medicine Year 1 }
Session: Fall
Instructor: Jayson Parker
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This course will introduce students to the development of a wide range of product categories. While the focus will be on drugs, the course will also touch upon medical devices, digital health, big data in health, medical apps, biomarkers, medical marketing, treatment guidelines, screening tools and diagnostics. Understanding clinical trial design and the regulatory pathway through the US FDA is a major focus of the course. Reimbursement is introduced for both drugs and medical devices. Each year, this course is usually able to negotiate some major project opportunities from teaching hospitals students can tackle, to expose them to the clinical world, an important target customer environment of pharmaceutical companies.
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BTC1820H › Biotechnology in Agriculture & Natural Products Year 1 }
Session: Fall
Instructor: Duncan Jones
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This course will focus on the exploration and understanding of biotechnology as applied to agriculture (including forestry and aquaculture), natural products and biocontrols. Various lecturers from academia and guests from industry and government will participate. Students will work in teams and each team will present their assigned topics as an oral presentation(s) and a number of written team and individual assignments plus an exam will also be evaluated. In the agriculture area, lecture topics could include traditional approaches to plant breeding, cultivar, and livestock improvement; genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the controversy surrounding them; genomics and its importance in agribiotechnology; nutriceuticals; plants and animals as bioreactors; and the cloning of animals and implications to agriculture. In the natural products/biocontrols area, topics could include bioremediation of contaminated soils and ecosystems with microorganisms; use of natural and engineered products and organisms for pest control; and use of natural plant and animal products used for medicinal purposes.
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BTC2010H › Fundamentals of Managerial Concepts Year 1 }
Session: Fall
Instructor: Kevin Yousie
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This foundational course introduces students to a broad range of the critical managerial concepts that are required to operate successfully in today’s biotechnologically focused organizations. Topics covered include forms of business ownership, an introduction to financial statements, financial statement analysis, time value of money, marketing management, market segmentation, product positioning, the marketing mix, pricing decisions, channel and marketing communications management, as well as some aspects of organizational behaviour and strategic management. Theory and application are combined through the use of readings, case studies, presentations and a group project.
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BTC1600H › Seminar in Bioscience/Biotechnology I Year 1 }
BTC1610H › Seminar in Bioscience/Biotechnology II  Year 2 }
Session: Fall
Course Instructor: Duncan Jones
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
The ‘Biopartnering’ seminar series is a program requirement for all MBiotech students — regardless of program stream. BTC1600H and BTC1610H are held in conjunction with one another, meaning all students (regardless of year or program stream) attend the seminar on the same date and time. The seminar is held once per week during the Fall semester, on Tuesday evenings for approximately two hours. It is comprised of both student presentations as well as presentations by speakers from industry and academic institutions. All students registered in the Program are expected to attend all seminars in each of their two years and to participate in discussions of the topics that are presented during their residency in the Program. Each student will participate in at least one formal group presentation, usually in their first year, and will complete other academic requirements (such as critiques or team mentoring in the senior year) throughout the series. The topics presented in this course will range from scientific (latest technologies and research, analysis of pre-clinical and clinical data) to business-oriented issues (e.g., market strategies for pharma and biotechnology products, government regulations, intellectual property, finance, ethics, etc.).
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BTC2020H › Society, Organisations & Technology Year 1 }
Session: Fall
Instructor: Andrew Steck
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This course is about the formation and execution of business strategies. Ultimately, we hope to shed some light on the fundamental questions of strategy research: why do some companies consistently acheive high profits, while others crash out of the market? What factors can explain these differences in performance? The course begins with an overview of fundamental economic concepts and firm behaviour, before proceeding to more `classic' strategic settings. We will conclude by studying the economics of incentives, innovation and regulation in a bit more depth.
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BTC1900Y / 1910Y / 1920Y › Work Terms I, II & III Year 1 + 2 }
Summer and Fall (preparatory requirements)
Session: Winter (Work Term start)
Instructor: Leigh Revers
Coordinator: Nazeem Shamsuddin
Credits: 2·0 (Work Terms I & II are required)

Course Description:
The course is designed to enable the students to gain a more in-depth appreciation and understanding of the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry in a corporate and/or industrial setting and to apply their knowledge and skills in an industry setting. Students are expected to be complete two 4-month full-time work terms that has been coordinated by the course coordinator to ensure that the role, responsibilities and activities are at a graduate level. Credit-granting responsibilities reside with the course coordinator.

Required preparatory exercises and assignments must be completed in the Summer and Fall sessions, leading up to the start of the work term in Winter, in order for students to `qualify' for the first Work Term itself. These preparatory requirements can involve resume workshops, one-on-one meetings with the MBiotech staff, attendance at the annual Career Day and more.

Students in Work Term II may continue with the same employer from their first work term or with a new employer or department. Evaluation of students’ performance and their work experiences will be done in a manner similar to that of the first work placement. Students will receive a credit/no credit grade for their second work term. Note: BTC1920Y, Work Term III is optional.
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BTC2030H › Management of Technological Innovation Year 1 }
Session: Winter
Instructor: Ruben Gaetani
Credits: 0·5 (required)

Course Description:
This is a course in innovation and entrepreneurship, intended in a very broad way. The overall philosophy of the course is that having a good idea, which could possibly create value, is often not enough unless you are able to capture at least part of the created value and deliver it to your customers. Therefore a good idea also requires innovations in the organizational form, the way we compete, how we obtain financial resources and so on. All of these themes need to be analyzed in order to understand how an idea can be successful in the market. In addition, these challenges are for the most part common to established firms as well. Thus we will stress these similarities but also study the differences between developing a new idea in a stand-alone company and in an established firm. The course is case and discussion based. Teams will prepare, as their final assignment, a business plan either for a new venture or to create a new strategic business unit within a larger organization, in the bio-pharmaceutical or medical sector.
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IMI3001H › Biocommercialisation I: Analysis of Technology-Driven Innovation Year 1 }
Session: Fall & Winter
Credits: 0·5 (elective)

Course Description:
This is an IMI elective course. In this course, students will learn about the formation, financing and management of early-stage (bio) technology ventures. This process includes a series of close interactions with such start-ups and their potential seed investors. 

The course starts with a thorough introduction to frameworks and processes for analyzing early stage ventures, including the ‘3C’s + P framework’, and the ‘OUTSIDE-IMPACTS’ framework. 

We then turn the course focus on the product concept, development and commercialization phases which companies need to consider in bringing their product through the regulatory pathway. This course is delivered via lectures, small business presentations and team reports which evaluate the technical and business components of the presentations. The primary aim of this course is to expose the students to a wide range of interdisciplinary elements that contribute to the start-up and functioning of a biotech corporation. The secondary aims are to introduce the students to individuals currently working in the industry and give them the opportunity to learn lessons based on real-life workplace experiences. Ultimately, this will help students to develop the optimal strategy for a new venture.

Teams are expected to be drawn largely from the Master of Sustainability, Master of Management Innovation and the Master of Biotechnology programs. Depending on the complement of students, we may also choose startup companies who are outside the Biotech arena. There will be two instructors in this course, hailing from both the business sector and science and technology. 

We anticipate working closely with ICube, RIC, MARs and local businesses in this course.

Classes will be held one to two times per month in the fall and winter 6:30-9 p.m. on Monday evenings. Recommended preparation for this course: Three essays by Paul Graham, http://www.paulgraham.com/