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Research Areas

The department focusses on a wide array of research topics, reflecting the diversity of modern biotechnology. The four thrust areas of Research (M.S. and Ph. D.), are listed here:

I. Biological Sciences

Molecular oncology • Cancer immunotherapy • Anti-cancer nutraceuticals • HIV pathogenesis • Stem cell biology • Biomarkers for cardiovascular disease • Gene regulation in hypertension • Molecular and cellular basis of cardiovascular complications • Structure- function relationship of ion channels • Ion channels associated with ischemic heart diseases and stroke • Nanoparticles • Nanobiotechnology of food packaging • Nucleolar GTPases and cell proliferation • Pattern formation in cellular slime moulds • Plant developmental genetics • Recombinant Enzymes • Biofuel cells • Biorefinery

II. Biological Engineering

Industrial metabolite production • Metabolic engineering • Biopolymers • Biocompatibility • Biodegradation of polymers • Tissue engineering • Caffeine degradation • Membrane biochemistry • Plant cell bioprocessing • Phytoremediation • Biofuels • Process chromatography • Reactive species in biological systems

III. Computational Biology

Protein structure, folding and function • Protein dynamics • Computational analysis of protein folding and stability • Binding specificity of protein complexes • Green chemistry • Structure-based drug design and discovery • Comparative genomics • Computational modelling of neurodegenerative disorders • Computational systems biology • Development and analysis of databases and tools • Computational biophysics • GPGPU computing for systems biology

IV. Chemical Biology

‘Green’ biocatalytic methods for organic transformations • Delivery of siRNAs • Fragment-based drug design • Novel inhibitors against HDACs and HMT • Asymmetric catalysis

Eligibility criteria

a.Master’s degree in any area of Engineering. Candidates with Master’s in biotechnology, chemical engineering, computer science and electrical engineering are particularly encouraged to apply.
b. Master’s degree in any area of Science. Candidates with Master’s in any branch of life sciences, chemistry, mathematics and physics are particularly encouraged to apply.  Master’s in Science must have qualified in GATE or any other national research fellowship examinations (CSIR-JRF, UGC-JRF, DBT-JRF, etc).
c. Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences
d. Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences
e. Master’s degree in Veterinary Science
f. Four-year undergraduate degree [B.Tech., B.E., B.Sc.(Agri.), etc.] with CGPA above 8.0 or 75% aggregate and having qualified in GATE or any other national research fellowship examinations.​

Screening Procedure

Entrance exams will happen in four separate streams covering various areas:

  • Biological Sciences will involve aspects of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, etc.
  • Biological Engineering will involve aspects of Material and energy balances, Thermodynamics, Biological rate processes (Enzyme Kinetics, Microbial Growth and Product Formation Kinetics, Kinetics of Intracellular Processes (e.g. gene expression, protein synthesis, protein folding), Transport phenomena, Bioreactor design and analysis and Downstream processing
  • Chemical Sciences will test on aspects of Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry.
  • Computational Biology will test on aspects of mathematics, bioinformatics and computing.

Candidates will be short-listed for the interview based on performance in the screening test(s). Final decision on selection will be made based on overall performance.

Guide Allotment Procedure

The procedure followed for guide allotment for PhD, PhD in Biomedical Devices and MS (by research) are listed here (PDF).


Admissions Committee
Department of Biotechnology
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Chennai – 600 036
Tel: +91-44-2257-4100
E-mail: admissions_bt@iitm·ac·in