The mission of the Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (CMBB) is to develop research and training programs in molecular biology and biotechnology and serve as a link between FAU and other institutions and industry in this field.
The CMBB was established in 1997 to bring expertise in this exciting field of biology to FAU. The techniques used in molecular biology, that have made possible the recent advances in genomics, are the basis of much of the pioneering work going on in virtually all fields of biology, and are fundamental to the entire biotechnology industry. Many of the complex problems in biology, ranging from how cells react to their environment to understanding memory, learning and aging are being approached through molecular biology. The future of medicine will certainly emphasize molecular medicine and the role of genomics in the future diagnosis, treatment and cure of diseases is now accepted. In order to compete in the biological sciences universities must have this expertise in house. Students interested in biomedical research should understand that whether they intend to go into medicine, basic research or industry they must have a background in molecular biology. The CMBB office and the Directors laboratory has recently moved to the FAU MacArthur campus in Jupiter, and with time many of the CMBB research programs may be relocated to the Jupiter campus, so as to be in close proximity to the Scripps Florida Research Institute and the Max Planck Institute of Integrative Biology and Neuroscience.
The CMBB was established with three primary missions. The first was to create a strong base in molecular biology, functional genomics and related fields. This will be the major strength of the Center, and the long-term success of the Center will depend on maintaining high-quality research programs. Members of the CMBB may have appointments in various departments at FAU, and a list of the current research interests, is summarized (Research Link). The interdisciplinary structure of the CMBB serves to bring together research scientists from different Departments/Centers in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the College of Biomedical Sciences, scientists on the FAU John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, The Scripps Florida Research Institute and the Max Planck Institute of Integrative Biology and Neuroscience.
A second goal of the CMBB was to establish both undergraduate and graduate curricula in molecular biology, biotechnology and related areas. In order to accomplish this courses are now offered in molecular biology, cell biology, molecular genetics, molecular virology, neuroscience and biotechnology among others. Laboratory exposure to all of the techniques related to recombinant DNA technology and protein structure and function are available as part of the above courses or in special laboratory courses designed to make the student familiar with modern techniques in these areas. A certificate in biotechnology is offered to undergraduates and this program has been highly successful. A Professional Science Masters Program (PSM) has been approved in collaboration with the College of Business. The PSM is intended for students with a science background who want to be trained in the business aspects of the biotechnology industry. The CMBB initiated a journal club for students and has sponsored a seminar program since its inception. The seminar program has made it possible to bring outstanding scientists in various areas of biomedical science to the campus for short periods of time. These scientists not only stimulate both students and staff, but also give visibility to the Center and the University.
Finally, the CMBB, with its research staff, modern equipment and supply of students will serve as a magnet to attract biotechnology companies to this area in southeast Florida area and serve as an interface with other research centers throughout the state and nation. A core facility is in place at our Jupiter site that contains equipment to carry out analysis for nucleic acids and proteins (Core Facility Link). This facility is available to scientists throughout the university and the community. Companies in the area will have access to this facility, which should be a strong attraction for both start-up and existing small biotechnology companies.