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Information Systems Concentration in Biotechnology

Biotechnology innovation is now driving one-third of the world’s economy and with every application of biotech driven by information, the explosion of information in the biotech space is unprecedented. From DNA to diagnostics, from drug trials to bio-identity management, from the open source quest for cures to cancer to online video games unlocking the structure of nature, the single common link is information.

The MSIS program offers a concentration in Biotechnology to enable students to immediately enter the burgeoning biotech field, or if already employed in biotech, to better understand its place within the global industry, drawing heavily from the San Francisco Bay Area, the world’s largest bio-innovation cluster and the birthplace of biotech. Uniquely, as part of the Business of Biotechnology program, this concentration enables students to visit major global bio-clusters, alongside fellow USF grad students in business administration and biotechnology.

Concentration Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of the local, national and global biotechnology industry.
  • Comprehend the “what” and “where” of biotech information – from clinical drug trials to criminal databases, from regulatory requirements to the personal genome, to a basic understanding of how DNA can be transformed from inside a human cell to its digital representation in data.
  • Understand the difference between traditional pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals, and the latter’s important relationship to personalized medicine.
  • Gain insight into the legal, social and ethical implications of biotech – from GINA, the US’s Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, to the regulation of frozen embryos in the UK nonexistent in the US, from the perspectives of various religions vis-à-vis biotechnology to the challenging decisions that individuals and families face with newly emergent bio-pharma, diagnostics, and treatments.
  • Meet biotechnology industry professionals, while discovering the innovation advantages of each global bio-cluster and its impact on the industry, and comprehending that every biotech business is a global business, and all information is global.

Please note: The Concentration in Biotechnology is only offered on the San Francisco Main Campus.

Concentration Courses

The MSIS Concentration in Biotechnology requires a total of 9 units.
Please consult your MSIS advisor to clarify your course schedule.

The following course is required for all Concentration in Biotechnology students:

Lecture Course:
MSIS 662 The Information of Biotechnology (3 units)

A total of 6 units must be completed from the following:

Lecture Courses:
MSIS 661 Local, National and Global BioBusiness (2 units)
MSIS 663 Legal, Social and Ethical Implications of Biotech (2 units)

One-Week Study Tours:
MBA 6797 London/Oxford/Cambridge (2 units)
MBA 6797 Washington, DC (2 units)
MBA 6797 Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto (2 units)