In 1985, the General Assembly authorized the Maryland Biotechnology Institute (MBI) at the University of Maryland. The Institute unites diverse research disciplines across the broad spectrum of biotechnology within the University System of Maryland. The Institute also provides a core of expertise and state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to research, training, and economic development in biotechnology.

Biotechnology is any technique that uses living organisms or substances from those organisms to make or modify a product; perform services; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific uses. These techniques include the use of novel technologies, such as recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), cell fusion, and other new bioprocesses.

Administered by the University System of Maryland Administration, the Institute consists of five research centers: Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology; Center for Agricultural Biotechnology; Center of Marine Biotechnology; Institute of Human Virology; and Medical Biotechnology Center. The Institute also administers the Center for Biocscience Outreach, Education, and Ethics. In research and academic activities, each center works closely with government laboratories, other academic research institutions, and the State's biotechnology business community.

The Center for Bioscience Outreach, Education, and Ethics started in 1986 as the Public Issues in Biotechnology Program to advance research in the ethical and legal issues of biotechnology. In 2000, the Program reformed as the Center for Bioscience Outreach, Education, and Ethics. The Center promotes education in biotechnology for elementary and high school students and their teachers, as well as those who work in the biotechnology field. Forums on technical, legal, ethical and safety issues related to the life sciences also are provided by the Center. In addition, the Center oversees the Collaborative Virtual Education Program, and Science and Technology Education Programs.


Shady Grove Life Science Center
9600 Gudelsky Drive
Rockville, MD 20850 - 3479

The Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology was established in 1985 to build and cultivate a multidisciplinary center of research excellence in protein engineering, structure, and function. Through collaboration with industrial scientists and cultivation of a basic research environment beneficial to industry, the Center fosters advancement of Maryland's biotechnology industry.

Located in Shady Grove, the Center's scientific programs are managed by the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Programs are administered with advice from a board of overseers representing the University System of Maryland, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Montgomery County government, and the local biotechnology community.


Plant Sciences Building, Room 5115
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, MD 20742 - 4450

Created in 1987, the Center for Agricultural Biotechnology studies the molecular biology of plant and animal protection, particularly of plant-pathogen interactions, poultry virus and vaccine production, and insect genetic engineering. Research programs integrate molecular genetics and biochemical engineering methods to study gene expression. The Center cooperates with scientists at the National Agricultural Research Center, including the Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Columbus Center, Suite 236
701 East Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202 - 3101

The Center of Marine Biotechnology is devoted to the application of molecular biology and molecular genetics to marine organisms. Initiated in 1985, the Center studies the molecular biology and molecular genetics of aquaculture and fisheries biotechnology, marine microbial products and processes, and marine pollution and bioremediation. Center research then is applied to improve methods of seafood production, develop new marine-based compounds and pharmaceuticals, devise new medical diagnostic test methods, and implement novel techniques for environmental cleanup and biofilm prevention. The Center also is conducting research on Pfiesteria and related micro-organisms.

In 1993, the Center opened the Aquaculture Research Center at Fells Point in collaboration with the Columbus Center and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The Center of Marine Biotechnology moved to the Columbus Center at the Inner Harbor of Baltimore City in 1995.


725 West Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD 21201 - 1595

The Institute of Human Virology formed in 1996 to combine basic research, epidemiology, and clinical research disciplines toward the study of human virology. Research supports development of more effective treatments and prevention of cancers caused by viruses, immune disorders, neurologic diseases, and autoimmune diseases.


725 West Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD 21201 - 1595

Established in 1986, the Medical Biotechnology Center studies health-related aspects of molecular biology and biotechnology at the basic applied and clinical levels. The Center focuses its research on molecular medicine, including gene therapy, antisense therapy, molecular neurobiology/muscle, and molecular genetics. The Center also is concerned with biomedical photonics and molecular cell signaling, including biosensing, bioimaging, bioprocessing, clinical sensors, protein and membrane dynamics, and fermentation and monitoring of bioreactors. Laboratory and clinical research facilities are housed at the Center.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2001

April 1, 2001   
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