Biotechnology is a field of biology that involves the use of living things in engineering, technology, medicine, it is called genetic engineering as well as cell- and tissue culture technologies. bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field with its emphasis more on mechanical and higher systems approaches to interfacing with and exploiting living things. or we can define in tow ways as what is BIOTECHNOLOGY
>>> the branch of molecular biology that studies the use of microorganisms to perform specific industrial processes; "biotechnology produced …
>>> the branch of engineering science in which biological science is used to study the relation between workers and their environments
following are greatest Persons who have contributed their time for the field Biotechnology and its evolution in modern world.
1. Joshua Lederberg
Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics and Informatics, Rockefeller University |Although he is passionate about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe and
considered a trailblazer in artificial intelligence, knowledge-based computer systems, and emerging infectious diseases, Lederberg’s overwhelming interest is still focused on the subject that won him a Nobel Prize in 1958— bacteria. Lederberg’s Nobel was based on his discovery of recombination in bacteria. His work in identifying the genetic structure and cell functions of bacteria has become central to a biotech industry that he helped found as an adviser to companies such as Affymetrix. "Right now, I’m looking to see how fast bugs grow," he says. "What are the limits to how much a cell can replicate?" That information is crucial to figuring out how to shut down rapid cell growth in cancer cells. He is also a member of the U.S. Defense Science Board, an important forum in the wake of September 11.
2. Peter Schultz
Director, Novartis Research Foundation’s Genomics Institute | In 1999 Schultz founded Novartis’s Genomics Institute in La Jolla, California. There, 220 researchers peruse
everything from nanotechnology to learning and memory. His favorite question: Why did life settle on four DNA bases— represented by the letters A, C, G, and T— and 20 amino acids? To find out, Schultz and his colleagues have invented 80 new amino acids. They also began experimenting with a bioengineered bacterium that contains unnatural amino acids. "You could create powerful new proteins," he says, such as proteins with new side chains that kill tumor cells. Blending business and research, Novartis has spun off three new companies: one that hopes to unravel the structure of previously unmapped proteins, another that is experimenting with mouse cells to test for mutations that might apply to humans, and a third that scours cells for undiscovered pathways, proteins, and immune responses. Schultz was 32 years old when he founded his first company, Affix, in 1988. He hooked up with entrepreneur Alejandro Zaffaroni. "I was uninterested in companies," remembers Schultz, "but Alex convinced me and changed my life."
3. Craig Venter
Chairman, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) | A decade ago, when Venter was working as a section head and researcher at the National Institutes of Health, he got an idea for speeding up gene discovery. Rebuffed by superiors, he quit the institute and started up the nonprofit TIGR in Rockville, Maryland. In 1998 he founded the for-profit Celera. Within months it became obvious that Venter’s rapid-sequencing technology would win the race to decode the human genome. In June 2000 Venter stood in the White House beside his rival, Francis Collins, director of the NIH’s genome project, as President Bill Clinton announced a compromise victory, declaring that Celera and the NIH had nearly completed decoding the genome. Since then the commercial promise of the genome has become muddled. The NIH posted a free version of the genome online, and investors realized that accumulating genetic ata may be less lucrative than discovering new drugs based on the knowledge. Venter subsequently tried to reshape Celera into a drug-discovery company, then resigned in January. A week before his departure, he said he believed that the next wave of biotechnology will be personalized medicine in which massive computing power will be used to tailor treatments to an individual’s own genetic map.
4. Leroy Hood
President and Director, Institute for Systems Biology | When Hood was a young instructor at the California Institute of Technology, the chairman of the biology department asked him to stop teaching technology and stick to biology. He refused, quit Caltech, and eventually popularized the term systems biology to describe the integration of biology, technology, and other disciplines. The synthesis stuck: In the 1970s and 1980s, Hood was a pioneer who created automated sequencers for DNA and proteins, which led to the discovery of key proteins and chemical structures in the body. More impatience with academia led him to ditch another high-profile academic position in 1999 to start up the Institute for Systems Biology. He describes the innovative firm as a "grand experiment" in combining business methods with research and academic reedom. "The challenge for the future is with whole systems and theories of integration," he says, "and with being free to use your imagination."
5. William Haseltine
CEO, Human Genome Sciences | A prominent cancer and AIDS researcher at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Medical School for 17 years, Haseltine made
the jump from lab to business suite in 1992, when he founded Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Maryland, just up the road from rival Craig Venter’s headquarters at Celera.
Haseltine’s company now has a market capitalization of $3 billion and seven drugs in clinical trials, including treatments for growth hormone deficiency, hepatitis C, and venous ulcers. Hundreds more drug targets are in the company’s plans. But the 57-year-old Heseltine’s passion has turned to "regenerative medicine," a term he claims as his own. "It starts with the ery simple notion that our bodies are machines that either become worn or broken, and there’s an age-old desire to repair or replace those worn and broken parts. A number of avenues will allow us to do that." He envisions a medical future in which human tissues will routinely be used to replace aging organs.
6. Stuart Schreiber
Chair of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University | In 1973 he had already planned to drop out of the University of Virginia to become a carpenter. "On a lark, I went to a chemistry class," he says, "and it seemed beautiful to me. It opened a window on a whole new world." Now a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard, Schreiber is opening a few windows of his own synthesizing small molecules that can be used to tweak proteins and protein pathways in cells. These are the mechanisms that control everything from immune response to memory. In the 1980s Schreiber created small molecules that stimulate mechanisms in the body’s immune response system, leading to the discovery of a signaling network of proteins and receptors crucial not only for immune functions but also for heart development and the acquisition of memory in the hippocampus. He uses computers and specially designed molecules that work as probes to study proteins and other natural molecules, hoping to map the inner genetic workings of the body. Once that infrastructure is understood, he says, scientists will know which particular genetic system does what, and "that’s when the exciting part begins."
7. Elaine Fuchs
Head of the Laboratory for Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, Rockefeller University | Fuchs recently discovered how to induce hair growth by working with a protein
that instructs embryonic skin cells to become hair follicles. She tweaked the stem cells of mice to make them extra furry. "Skin has been looked at very closely for years by
Discover Current Issue dermatologists— every blemish, every permutation— because it’s all exposed, unlike other organs," she says. "This information can be linked with genetics." Fuchs is exploring proteins that provide strength to skin diseases, others that cause blistering skin, and those involved in carcinomas. She is reluctant to go commercial but suspects she may anyway. "You can’t stop it," she says. "It’s how research is transferred into products for people."
8. Eric Lander
Director, Whitehead Institute/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Genome Research | Back in 1981, when it took geneticists a year or more to identify just a single gene, Lander was a 24-year-old Rhodes scholar with a fresh mathematics doctorate in hand and a summer to kill. His brother, a neurobiologist, suggested that he learn something about mathematical neural biology. So Lander began to study cell biology, then molecular biology, and finally genetics. Meanwhile, he taught finance at the Harvard Business School. "It’s a shaggy dog story," he says, but one that eventually led him to believe that biology’s future lay not only in accumulating a mass of genetic data quickly but also in concocting mathematical models to analyze it. By 1990 Lander was director of the Whitehead Center for Genome Research, overseeing labs that deciphered a third of the human genome. He chaired the committee that analyzed the rough genomic data and in 2001 was lead author on the historic paper that offered the complete map of the human genome. Now 45, Lander continues to lead the center’s efforts to apply the genome to analyze how cells function and to discover the complex genetic
pathways of disease. He advises a number of biotech companies and has become the Carl Sagan of biotech, a charismatic explainer on television programs such as NOVA. "Solving the genome was the first step," he says. "Now comes the fun part, when we see how genetics works."
9. Corey Goodman
CEO, Renovis | For 25 years this neurobiologist mapped brain mechanisms such as how neurons behave as they fire off billions of commands that make us move, think, and
remember. Using fly brains, Goodman discovered a raft of brain-control genes with equivalents in humans, including several involved with brain development. The research
could lead to repairs for injuries to the brain and spinal cord. He is a cofounder of two biotech companies: Exelixis and Renovis. The latter hopes to turn his discoveries into therapies for pain, eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. Despite a talent for business, Goodman had always chosen to remain in his lab at the University of California at Berkeley, where he had been director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute since 1999. But Renovis investors recently asked him to become their chief executive. "Initially, I said no. But I think that in the next 10 years, the commercial route will have more of a direct impact on spinal-cord injuries, and maybe on psychiatric disorders, so I decided to take a chance."
10. Sydney Brenner
Distinguished Professor, Salk Institute | In 1962 this South African chemist teamed up with Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Francis Crick at Cambridge University to discover the essence of genetic coding: Every three DNA base pairs (made up of A, C, G, and T combinations) are a code for a single amino acid. Brenner went on to find messenger RNA in cells. Last year, at age 74, he retired as president and director of science at the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California. But he continues to pick apart pufferfish in a quest to study gene regulation. "I am taking genes from a pufferfish and inserting them into a mouse to see if they can be read by the mouse," he says. Brenner holds numerous patents, mostly for computational inventions to sequence DNA and other molecules, and remains on the board of Lynx Therapeutics and NeoGene Technologies. He still works with pufferfish, now in a lab at the Salk Institute near San Diego.