Today biological phenomena can be analysed with modern molecular methods in great detail.
The increasing amount of data as well the enormous complexity of the analysed systems requires
new strategies in biological sciences. Using tools developed for systems and engineering sciences,
in particular mathematical modelling, offers new insights into basic biological processes,
e.g. the regulation of biochemical pathways or the function of complex signal transduction networks.
Knowledge obtained with sytems biology approaches can be applied in modern medicine and biotechnology.
Increasing research and development activities in the interdisciplinary field of systems biology
are resulting in a rising demand of highly qualified staff that can combine knowledge and experiences
in biology and medicine as well as systems and engineering sciences. The Otto-von-Guericke-University
Magdeburg faced this challenge by establishing a diploma course in Biosystems Eengineering in 2004.
More than 200 applicants per year and 280 enrolled students are good indicators for the success of
this study course, which is mainly supported by the Faculty of Process and Systems Engineering,
the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, the Faculty of Natural Sciences,
and the Faculty of Medicine of the Otto-von Guericke University Magdeburg. This spectrum of involved
faculties strongly encourages a systematic and interdisciplinary training already for basic level
students. Since 2009, 33 students have successfully completed their diploma degree and are now being
employed at several research institutes and companies in Germany and other European countries.
One major educational work package of MaCS aimed at improving the study course Biosystems Engineering and supporting the
transition from the German diploma program to internationally accepted bachelor and master programs.
The bachelor program (B.Sc., 7 semesters) was established in 2007 and the consecutive master program
(M.Sc., 3 semesters) has been offered since spring 2011. Supported by federal funding, practical
laboratory courses in basic biological disciplines (e.g. laboratory course microbiology) were
established and improved. The number of advanced courses and specialized practical courses
(e.g. proteomics and microbial biochemistry) was increased. All improvements were managed by the
coordinator of the study course, who is also being funded by MaCS.
For more information see here (in German)