ITMO: ITMO and Almetyevsk State Oil Institute to Train Specialists in AI and Biotechnology

ITMO University and Almetyevsk State Oil Institute are launching a new Master’s program AI in Biotechnology Systems, which will train future middle and senior specialists in biotechnology. During the training, students will learn to solve biotechnological problems using information technologies and big data, as well as to apply these technologies to produce even more efficient treatments. The corporate partner of the program is Tatneft.

Who the program is for
As various specialists, including biotechnologists, can no longer cope with the ever-increasing amounts of data, today’s market is in a desperate need of experts who can make data storing and processing automatic. With information technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and big data), specialists will not only process large amounts of data quickly but may also identify patterns, which will lead to discoveries.

To meet the market demands, Almetyevsk State Oil Institute and ITMO University are opening a new Master’s program in AI and biotechnology, which is designed for students with backgrounds in biotechnology, chemistry, and other natural sciences who are eager to tackle global biotech problems via digital technologies. The program’s lecturers will equip students with Python and R programming skills, as well as demonstrate how neural networks can analyze big data in biotechnology, molecular chemistry, and biological materials science.

“Having trained oil specialists for years, we see this program as a big challenge for all of us but also a great opportunity to create a synergy of artificial intelligence and biotechnology that will allow us to develop next-gen professionals for today’s market. The interdisciplinary nature of the new program will undoubtedly boost breakthroughs in both science and technology,” says Alexander Dyakonov, the rector of Almetyevsk State Oil Institute.


Program curriculum
AI in Biotechnology Systems will be a module-based and project-oriented program, during which students will develop both their hard and soft skills. While students will primarily study at the new campus of Almetyevsk State Oil Institute under the guidance of lecturers from ITMO’s SCAMT Institute, they will also have some modules taught at ITMO University. The two-year program will include real-world scientific cases and research.

“Graduates of our program will get to use everything that scientists have achieved over decades in terms of developing novel treatments, targeted drug delivery, and next-gen antibiotics. Within this program, we aim to implement a data-driven approach, collect one-of-a-kind databases and infrastructures, as well as offer our students project-oriented training and special competitions, thus significantly shortening the life cycle of developing new products and making it possible to achieve concrete results within a relatively short time frame,” says Vladimir Vinogradov, the head of ITMO’s ChemBio Cluster and SCAMT Institute.


Job prospects
Graduates will be free to choose whether they want to pursue their PhD, do research, or join the industry. In the latter case, they can work as specialists in data analysis, as well as in middle and senior predictive models in natural sciences at pharmaceutical, chemical, chemical tech, oil, and engineering companies.

Prospective students can also apply for places within the target quota. This option would allow them to get a job at Tatneft upon graduation where they will continue to tackle industrial challenges at the intersection of information and biological technologies and conduct their own studies at the company’s new biotech center.

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