The Department of Microbiology at the University of Dhaka has a long and distinguished history characterized by faculty and graduates who have made major contributions to higher education, science and technology, and public health issues in our country over the past four decades since its inception in 1979. The history of the Department is intermingled with the history of Bangladesh Society of Microbiologists (BSM). Activities and spearheading difficult work for the foundation of the Department was done by the late teacher and founding Chairman Professor Dr. Anwarul Azim Chowdhury (Professor Chowdhury). For ca. 27 years the Department, he established was the sole Department in the university system in our country that has been established exclusively to offer “Microbiology” as a main subject of the academic degrees offered under the Biological Sciences stream.
The mission of the Department is to educate and train students in the discipline of Microbiology and to expand the body of knowledge of this scientific field through research relevant to our national interest, and to cater the increasing demand in the country for microbiologists. The vision of the Department is to offer undergraduate level courses to enhance the intellectual foundation and preparation of students for life in a complex and never ending dynamic technological world, to prepare graduate students (MS, MPhil and PhD) with in-depth knowledge and research skills for professional careers in Microbiology, and also to transmit knowledge in theory and practical aspects of Microbiology imperative for the development of the country. The Department additionally offers various services to outside bodies, including service for our citizens, government agencies, and industries that require expert advice about microorganisms and the roles they play in our health, economy, and sustainability of our natural resources.
There is immense opportunity within the field of microbiology for national and international context due to the involvement of microbiology in many fields like medicine, pharmacy, dairy, industry, clinical research, environment, food and beverage industry, agriculture, and biotechnology. First headed by Professor Chowdhury, the Department greatly expanded the number of faculty and student and strengthened the research program. The research at our Department, encompasses scientists studying a broad range of fields, is dedicated to unveiling knowledge that can be of real service to mankind. For more than 40 years, faculty members, students and researchers have been making strides in the development of many areas like food safety and technology, environmental pollution and bioremediation, industrially useful chemicals such as enzymes and polymers, discovery of antimicrobials, antibiotic resistance, microbial pathogenesis, the immune response to infection, and vaccine development in our country.
The Department is dedicated in providing the quality education, through both lectures and practical sessions, necessary to meet the needs of this growing field. The academic curriculum covers a wide portfolio of microbiology courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is a center of ability for various perspectives of the essentials of Microbiology and its application. Research activities in the Department are internationally recognized and focused on diverse aspects of microbiological processes that cover almost all the major areas of microbiology including food science, environmental science, medical science, public health, veterinary, pharmacy, virology, immunology, vaccine development, and biotechnology. Many of our researchers hope that their research would have some impact on solving numerous of our squeezing worldwide challenges, such as skyrocketing antimicrobial resistance, emergence of new infectious diseases, and the health of our planet’s ecosystems, which depend upon discoveries from basic microbiology research. To maintain and expand our vigorous participation in research, the Department strives to provide state-of-the-art research laboratory facilities and equipment. Some research projects are conducted through collaboration with and support from various prominent sources. Over the years, many research papers have been authored by Department members in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.
The Department is proud enough to uncover that all of our aspirant graduates have high demand in both government as well as industrial sector. The department is capable of producing skilled microbiologists and educationists demanded by the leading public and private universities, research organizations, industries, and government and non-government organizations in Bangladesh. Graduates of our department go on to jobs in a wide variety of fields, not only at home, but also in a totally foreign culture, including health care, public health, diagnostic centers, food safety, pharmaceuticals, industrial microbiology, and scientific research at academic and government agencies. Our graduates have also been highly successful in obtaining doctoral and postdoctoral positions in leading laboratories at the top universities and research centers of the world and establishing rewarding careers as scientific investigators and educators.