Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

Biotechnology

 bi·o·tech·nol·o·gy       noun

In its purest form, the term "biotechnology" refers to the use of living organisms or their products to modify human health and the human environment. 

Pamela Peters, from Biotechnology: A Guide To Genetic Engineering.
Wm. C. Brown Publishers, Inc., 1993.


CCAC's biotechnology curriculum was developed with direct input from the region's leading professionals. This ensures that students will graduate with the skills needed for immediate employment in the field.

The biotechnology program is designed to meet the need for skilled workers in the biotechnology industry. It provides training for varying levels of technical skills (tissue culture, sterile technique, DNA/protein protocols) for those interested in laboratory employment, whether they are in the biotechnology industry, medical or academic research institution.

Biotechnology is suitable for students interested in science, particularly biological science, who enjoy hands-on work. They should work well as part of a team and have good communication skills.

For more information about the biotechnology program, follow the links to the left. You can also view program information for the biotechnology Associate's Degree and Certificate.


CCAC's Biotechnology program  provides practical work experience at one of the affiliated biotech industries or a university research facility. Techniques learned in Biotechnology Lab I and Biotechnology Lab II will be applied in an actual research setting to give the student more experience while learning practical applications for laboratory procedures.

  • DNA technology - history of DNA technology and contemporary technology
  • Cell structure and functions - molecular structure of cells and their functions, as well as mechanisms that regulate cell processes - Course topics will include ultra structure of organelles, function of organelles, antibody-antigen interactions, cell-mediated immunity, and cellular mechanisms that regulate immune responses.
  • Bioinformatics - database searching methods and sequence comparison
  • Quality Assurance - procedures of Good Manufacturing Practices and how to write Standard Operating Procedure (include skill standards developed for Bioscience industry workers.)
  • Laboratory topics include laboratory procedure, equipment, preparation of media and solutions, following and writing laboratory protocols, basic knowledge of instruments used in a biotechnology lab, computer skills for biotechnology and good laboratory practices. Problem solving and applications will be emphasized. -general areas of focus will include sterile technique, tissue culture, cell culture, nucleic acid techniques and protein techniques