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Department of Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering
University of Hawaii-Manoa
1955 East-West Road, Ag. Science 218
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Telephone: (808) 956-8384
FAX: (808) 956-3542



The Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering is part of the College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources at the University of Hawaii. The majority of the faculty and research programs are housed on the Manoa campus in St. John Laboratory, Gilmore Hall and the Agricultural Science Building. Members of the Department conduct research on molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, functional genomics, bioinformatics and biotechnology related to living organisms and, the environment. The goal of these research programs is to gain new knowledge and develop new technologies relevant to modern agriculture, bioremediation, bioprocessing, and biotechnology industries. The technologies developed within the Department help improve bioproduction systems for food, fiber, and therapeutic applications, as well as reduce and remediate the impact of human activities on the environment. The Department also offers educational opportunities in the various disciplines cited above under the following degree programs:

  • MS and PhD in Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering
  • BS in Molecular Biosciences & Biotechnology
  • BS in Biological Engineering
  • MS in Biological Engineering


The multifold mission of the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE) is to provide strong educational programs for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, to conduct high quality research in biochemistry, bioengineering, molecular biology and biotechnology, and to effectively transmit scientific knowledge to the general public. The department provides an excellent supportive environment for pursuing this mission.

The MBBE department embraces the dynamic changes occurring in the life sciences. This field is being transformed by a powerful combination of new molecular scale principles, genomic technologies, engineering concepts, and computational innovation. We are embarking on an era where we can combine our understanding of biological processes, from the mechanisms of biochemical interactions to the physical design principles of engineering.  This capacity stems from the fact that all biological systems operate with a common set of instructions that emanate and the genomes of organisms and the biophysical properties of proteins and numerous biomolecules. As such, the genomes of organisms are becoming a common language of the life sciences.

It is our shared vision that MBBE incorporate the field of synthetic biology and also use genomics and bioinformatics to achieve a whole systems-level understanding of the living organism. To meet these goals, sophisticated analytical, biochemical, and genetic technologies are used to peer into the activities of living systems, focusing on the structures and functions of macromolecules. Metabolic pathways and cells are modified, molecular machines and new functional platforms are designed to solve problems in agriculture, medicine, the environment, forensics, and diagnostics. 

These technological developments will influence all aspects of our lives from the quality of food and fiber to the preservation of natural resources and healthy living. The molecular tools will lead to technologies to increase crop yields, clean up the environment, manage infectious diseases, cure metabolic and cellular dysfunction, and define the quality of life.


* Aquaculture
* Biotechnology
* Bioinformatics
* Biological (renewable) energy
* Biological production systems
* Bioremediation
* Environmental Biochemistry
* Functional Genomics
* Gene Regulation
* Genetics
* Mineral Nutrition
* Metabolomics
* Photosynthesis
* Plant-Microbe Interactions
* Plant Molecular Biology
* Proteomics
* Signal Transduction
* Stress Phsyiology
* Value added/ material processing