Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering
The Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Development Alternative comprises of three Departments, namely Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, Molecular Medicine & Bioinformatics, and Pharmacy. The three Departments have established three Pillars of Excellence in research bearing in mind that the ultimate objective will be to help the people of Bangladesh through research, which can not only help the advancement of Bangladesh in the research arena, but also enable the poorer sections of the population to have a sustainable lifestyle and generate the affordability and availability of efficacious medicines. It is to be borne in mind that global climate change has been projected to have serious adverse effects on Bangladesh and the combined objective of the three Departments of the Faculty of Life Sciences is to prepare the country to favorably withstand such adverse effects.
In accordance with the above principles and bearing in mind that global climate change is projected to seriously affect Bangladesh in an adverse manner, active research projects going on in the Department of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering include development of fish breeding methods and cultivation of fishes in small ponds and ditches, hydroponics and aquaponics, development of improved varieties of drought and salt-tolerant cereals and pulses, and clonal propagation of endangered plant species of the country. A successful method of cultivation of various fish species in small ponds and ditches with improved breeding methods has already been completed and has been introduced to various fish cultivators and rural women in Gazipur, Noakhali, and Mymensingh districts of the country.
Development of a salt-tolerant pulse variety is very near completion, and methods have been developed to clonally propagate a number of endangered plants of the country. The Department also has an ongoing project to establish a gene bank to save the various varieties of bananas of the country, some of the varieties being nearly totally extinct due to non-cultivation. An international patent has already been obtained on an extract from paddy husk with anti-viral and anti-cancer properties.