University of Hawaii at Manoa Library


Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering


The Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE) Department features a multidisciplinary faculty having a broad spectrum of interests in biotechnology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioengineering. The department offers degree programs in bioengineering and in molecular biosciences and bioengineering.

The bioengineering program provides a unique opportunity to study biological systems from the engineering perspective. It emphasizes the importance of the systems approach to problem solving. The Department offers both BS and MS in bioengineering. The graduate program in bioengineering integrates biological science and engineering for design, fabrication, or operation of systems with a significant biological component. Core areas of instruction and research include bioenvironmental engineering, bioprocess engineering, development of renewable (biological) energy, plant cell culture engineering, post-harvest handling, resource systems engineering, biosensor engineering, automation of food and crop processing, and aquaculture engineering.

The Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE) Department also serves as the lead department for the plant and environmental biotechnology program which offers a BS degree. Specialization options for this program are: environmental and microbial biotechnology, plant biotechnology, insect and pathogen biotechnology, general biotechnology, or aquaculture and bioreactor biotechnology.

In molecular biosciences and bioengineering, the Department offers both MS and PhD degrees. The research and instruction in this program centers around understanding the biochemical, nutritional, and molecular-biological processes that underlie growth, development, photosynthesis, and stress, especially as related to tropical agriculture, aquaculture, plant and environmental biotechnology, and bioengineering. Faculty for in these programs are also drawn from John A. Burns School of Medicine, Cancer Research Center, Pacific Biomedical Research Center, Queens Medical Center, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Oceanic Institute, Sea Grant College Program, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, College of Engineering, and several departments including Microbiology, Zoology, Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, and Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences.


The Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering programs are interdisciplinary and they draw on the literature of many fields, especially of the other engineering fields (civil, electrical, and mechanical) and of aquaculture, biology, botany, chemistry, food science, genetics, microbiology, and zoology.

Additional materials relating to tropical agriculture and aquaculture in Hawaii and the tropical Pacific are acquired through Special Collections. The Hawaiian Collection is the primary repository for material originating in Hawaii. The Pacific Collection includes materials about islands of the Pacific. These departments sometimes purchase duplicate copies of heavily used titles for the general circulating collection. The Government Documents Collection also includes relevant literature.


Language: Primarily English; foreign language materials are not usually acquired.

Chronological: No limitations; the emphasis is on current theories and research.

Geographic: The interests of the department are global. However, material specific to the Pacific Basin and tropical regions is sought out.

Date of Publication: Current materials are emphasized; gaps are filled as needed.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: Scholarly journals are of primary importance in molecular biosciences and bioengineering; where available and financially feasible, Web access is preferred for journal subscriptions. Web-accessible journal article databases, including back files, are acquired as funds permit. Monographs and monographic series on current research in the field are generally collected in print format, but e-book availability is increasing. Conference proceedings are collected selectively in either print or Web accessible electronic format. Reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and bibliographies are collected and Web access is preferred when available. Dissertations and theses in print format are collected on a very selective basis. Audiovisual materials and microforms are purchased only when requested by faculty. Excluded are manuscripts and preprints and reprints of journal articles.

Electronic Format: See Types and Formats of Materials Collected.

Treatment: All treatments are included, with the exception of popular works and lower level textbooks. Upper level textbooks are selectively collected. Both research and applied aspects are collected.


Books that document molecular bioscience and bioengineering scholarly research and university level textbooks no more than five years old may be accepted. Gifts in other formats that are relevant to the research or instruction mission of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering Department will also be reviewed. Popular magazines, short journal runs, materials that duplicate items already in our collections, and materials in poor condition generally are not accepted. Contact the bioengineering subject librarian ( to discuss the nature, extent and timing of your donation. Gifts of archival materials that relate to the history of the university should be discussed with the University Archives (

When donated items are accepted by the UH Manoa Library they become the possession of the Library. The Library reserves the right to make decisions about the disposition of these materials. A letter of acknowledgement will be sent to donors, but the Library cannot provide monetary appraisals of gifts.

NOTE: This policy replaces the previous policies for Biosystems Engineering and Plant Physiology.

Compiled by: Eileen Herring
Date: June 2008

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