University Structure

Faculty of Biotechnologies

Mikhail Kurushkin

ITMO University’s Faculty of Biotechnologies (or BioTech for short) is a dynamically growing department where biotechnologies and food sciences are developed in close collaboration with the industry.

According to Presidential Decree No. 642, the Russian Federation’s priority fields of scientific and technological development up to 2030 include fields that are able to produce technologies and findings needed to ensure the innovative development of the internal market, the stable position of Russia on the international market. These technologies are expected to bring on the transition towards high-yield agricultural and marine food production, the development and integration of systems for rational application of biological protection measures for plants and animals, the storage and efficient processing of agricultural goods, and, finally, the creation of safe and high-quality food products, including functional ones.

The faculty is headed by dean Mikhail Kurushkin, PhD in Chemistry, a 2019 graduate of the Skolkovo Rectors’ School, multiple-time winner of Russian Science Foundation grants, and esteemed expert in the field of chemistry education.

Programs at the Faculty of Biotechnologies are headed by PhDs in Biology and associate professors Olesya Volokh (R&I Science&Nutrition Leader at Danone Russia) and Ruslan Al-Shekhadat (CEO of the biotechnology company Innova Plus). The faculty’s advisory board on educational programs includes Artem Ponomarev (co-founder and CEO of Greenwise and head of the non-profit Association of Alternative Food Products Producers).

The Bachelor’s degree program Biotechnology (subject area 19.03.01 Biotechnology) trains versatile biotech specialists familiar with both the theoretical and practical aspects of the development and production of biotech products. During their training, students are able to apply their professional skills in 2-3 different branches of biotech by choosing from various minors: biopharmaceuticals, food biotechnologies, bioinformatics, biostatistics (in collaboration with X7 Clinical Research), and bioart (in collaboration with ITMO Art & Science Center’s BioArt Lab).

The Master’s degree program FoodTech (subject areas 19.04.01 Biotechnology; 19.04.02 Plant-Based Food Products; 19.04.03 Animal-Based Food Products) trains specialists for the booming market of food technologies. Classes are conducted in Russian or English; an online track is also available. Students are able to change their subject area between the first and second years of studies. By design, 40% of the program curriculum is personalized owing to the large selection of elective disciplines. A large amount of focus is given to networking with representatives of the foodtech community (ENG). Students take internships at companies such as Baltika Breweries (ENG), Bushe Bakeries, Viola, V.M. Gorbatov Federal Research Center of Food Systems, Greenwise (ENG), Grow Food, Danone, re-feel, Heineken, Hlebny Dom, and Jacobs Douwe Egberts.

The Master’s degree program Industrial Biotechnology (​​subject area 19.04.01 Biotechnology), a recipient of a scholarship grant from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, trains future staff for its corporate partners: Innova Plus, GEROPHARM, Rustark, Biosphere Technologies, R-Pharm, and BIOCAD. As part of its network partnership with Almetyevsk State Oil Institute, the program offers a new track for its corporate partner Tatneft. The curriculum is based on the job descriptions of corporate partners; the regular involvement of industry leaders as lecturers expands the students’ career prospects. Students complete internships at companies such as Biotrof, GEROPHARM, RMC Home of Pharmacy, St. Petersburg Scientific Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums, and X7 Clinical Research).

Practicing specialists in the field of food and beverage production are welcome to apply for the faculty’s continuous professional development programs.

Admissions into PhD programs at the Faculty of Biotechnologies, with defenses held before academic degree council 09.22.00 are conducted within three subject areas:

2.7.1. Biotechnology of Food Products and Medicinal and Biologically Active Substances (technical sciences);

  • Study period: 4 years;

4.3.3. Food Systems (technical sciences);

  • Study period: 3 years;

4.3.5. Biotechnology of Food Products and Biologically Active Substances (biological sciences);

  • Study period: 3 years.

Prospective PhD students may also enroll within the subject area 1.5.6 Biotechnology (study period: 4 years).

Research at the faculty is conducted by recipients of grants from the Russian Science Foundation: Denis Baranenko (RU), Natalia Iakovchenko (ENG), Natalia Eremeeva (ENG), and Vera Ivanova (ENG).

Students of the faculty take active part in innovative activities as part of various hackathons and marathons, solving relevant cases for companies such as Sady Pleskavy, Viola, and INARCTICA (ENG).


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