PhD in Biotechnology

Faculty of Natural Sciences

PhD in Biotechnology

PhD programme in Biotechnology

The Department of Biotechnology and Food Science is responsible for the major research area biotechnology. Research is performed in cooperation between departmental and external research groups. Both basic and applied research topics are addressed.

  • The Department of Biotechnology and Food Science offers 13 courses on PhD-level
  • There are currently 25-30 PhD-students admitted to this program

Fields of research:

  • Biopolymer chemistry and bio-nanotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Determination of polysaccharide primary structure
  • Enzymatic, chemical and physical modification of polysaccharides
  • Determination of conformation in solution and gel phase
  • Interactions between polysaccharides and ions, enzymes, antigens, DNA and RNA
  • Non-viral gene delivery using chitosans
  • Nanostructure, phase behaviour and rheology in biopolymer gels, films, emulsions and suspensions
  • Alginate based capsule technology for treatment of diabetes
  • New experimental methods for characterization of polysaccharides
  • New biomedical and pharmaceutical applications of alginates, chitosans, gelatine, sphagnan, beta glucans, glycoproteins and proteoglycans
  • Capsule- and gel technology applied in food

Marine biochemistry/mariculture:

  • Production of fatty acids (DHA) in marine microorganisms
  • Marine biopolymers – from raw material to biological applications
  • Fish gelatins: Properties and modifications
  • New antibiotics from marine bacteria
  • Capsule- and gel technology in feed technology

Molecular genetics/Microbiology:

  • Studies of the mechanism for plasmid replication, construction of cloning vectors and analysis of recombinant protein expression
  • Genetic analysis of the production of antibiotics in bacteria
  • Studies of molecular mechanisms for cellular osmoregulation
  • The genetics of alginate biosynthesis and function studies of the enzyme structures
  • Oil microbiology
  • Development of new plasmid tools for use in bioprospecting
  • Microbial producers of bioactive agents from the marine environment

Biochemical engineering:

  • Production of secondary metabolites in bacteria
  • Microbiological aspects in food science
  • Microbial production of lysine from methanol

Food chemistry:

  • Superchilling
  • Utilization of Calanus
  • Using NMR to study water and salt during salting of fish and meat
  • Application of NMR for determination of food authenticity
  • Lipid oxidation
  • Ethical slaughtering of white fish
  • Production of stable marine oils

Environmental biotechnology/Microbial ecology:

  • Biofilm formation and biofouling
  • Gel-immobilized microbial ecosystems
  • Anaerobic fermentation of organic material
  • Directing microbial environment in marine aquaculture
  • Mechanisms for bacterial colonization and directing microbial environment in marine aquaculture
  • Structure and stability in natural pelagic ecosystems

Subject Areas

A more detailed description of ongoing research activities at the department can be found at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science


PhD biotechnology


Degree: Philosophiae doctor (PhD)
Duration: 3 years, 180 ECTS
Programme code: PHBIOT
Language of instruction: English

City: Trondheim
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Department: Department of Biotechnology and Food Science
Contact person: Maja C. Haaker