Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology
We research and teach, starting with molecules, through organisms, to sustainable production processes.
The Institute for Chemistry and Biotechnology (ICBT) is one of the scientific institutes at the ZHAW. It conducts applied research on cutting-edge topics relating to health, chemistry, biotechnology and the environment - from antibiotic resistance and antiviral agents to microplastics and more sustainable chemical processes. The institute trains young people for the growing life sciences market in three bachelor's programmes and two master’s courses.
Our understanding of chemistry and biotechnology is that it involves the linking of discoveries in the natural sciences with technological knowledge, with the aim of applying biological systems to the analysis and manufacture of products. The focus is on applications in the areas of pharma, food and ecology.
«The most pressing challenges of our time include climate change, scarcity of raw materials and good healthcare. At the interface of chemistry, biology and technology, promising solutions are currently being developed. Our institute researches and teaches precisely at this interface. This makes us unique in Switzerland.»
Prof. Dr. Christian Hinderling, Head of institute
This study programme is unique in Switzerland. At the interface between biomedicine, laboratory analytics, new digital possibilities and patient welfare, this programme meets a growing demand in diagnostics and therapy. The Bachelor's degree qualifies you for a career in biomedical laboratory diagnostics. Professional experience and further continuing education, will subsenqently enable you to assume roles in management, education and research. Further training options include, for example, a Master's degree in Switzerland or abroad.
The Bachelor's degree in biotechnology combines biological, medical and technical sciences. You will learn to utilise findings from biology and biochemistry, to apply technical processes to the production of new substances for industrial products or medicines, and to analyse thes products or medicines. As a biotechnologist, you will work in various fields such as in the food, detergents or health sectors.
The Bachelor's degree in chemistry prepares you for a future career, and provides you with a broad theoretical and practical education in chemistry, as well as life sciences and chemical engineering technology with mathematics and physics as a foundation. As a chemist, you will deal with the structure, properties and transformation of substances. You will develop, synthesise and analyse a wide variety of substances, taking into account economic efficiency, safety and environmental protection.
In the life sciences, expertise in chemistry, biochemistry, bioanalytics, green chemistry, material sciences and nanotechnology is in demand. Master's graduates with this specialisation understand these fields and are in high demand in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and biotechnology industries.
Today, many pharmaceuticals are based on active ingredients which are developed and commercially produced using complex biotechnological processes. Master's graduates with this specialisation are in demand in expanding national and international industries. These include fields such as, antibody and vaccine production, gene and cell therapy development, and medical diagnostics.
Scientific research at the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology is oriented towards practical industrial applications.
Our Institute aims to bring specific competences together, an approach that is increasingly in demand in the converging fields of chemistry, biology and technology. We focus on issues faced by SMEs and large industrial organisations in the pharmaceutical, chemical and environmental sectors.
We design and optimise biotechnological, biocatalytic and chemical production processes and techniques. The following units perform research in these fields:
- CC Biocatalysis
- Biosystems Technology
- Biobased Resources
- Biochemical engineering
- Cell cultivation techniques
- Industrial Chemistry
- Chemical Engineering
- Environmental Analytics
- Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy
Read more about the focus area Sustainable Solutions
We create nano-structured and functional materials with specific properties which are applied in various life sciences fields, such as filtration and tissue cultures. The following units perform research in these fields:
- Functional Materials and Nanotechnology
- Metrohm Foundation endowed professorship
- Polymer Chemistry
- Basics Chemistry
Read more about the focus area Smart Materials
We research and develop innovative therapies based on small molecules, recombinant proteins and cells. The following units perform research in these fields:
- Competence Center Drug Discovery
- Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmacology
- Phytopharmacy and Natural Products
- Metabolic Tissue Engineering
- 3D Tissues and Biofabrication
- Cell Physiology and Cellular Engineering
- CC TEDD
Read more about the focus area Pharma Innovation
We apply and further develop instrumental and bioanalytical methods and technologies for the detection of individual substances. The following units perform research in these fields:
- Sensor Technology
- Analytical Technologies
- Coffee Excellence Center
- Environmental Analytics
- Physical Chemistry
Read more about the focus area Detection and Diagnostics