The Department of Biotechnology at IIT Madras was founded in 2004 with a vision to be recognised 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 & Jyoti Mehta School of BioSciences’. Currently the department has 31 faculty members, about 200 undergraduate students, more than 160 graduate students and associated staff.
The focus of the department includes basic research in modern biotechnology and molecular basis of life processes; enhancing knowledge base and human resource development; and biotechnology for societal development. Research in the department are organised into four major thrust areas: