The Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (GEB) of the University of Dhaka started its academic journey in the session of 2000-2001 with 12 students in its first batch. Before that, the foundation of the Department started as a project in 1999 under the leadership of Professor Dr. Anwar Hossain of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka. Following the completion of the project phase, Professor Dr. Haseena Khan of the same Department took the responsibility of this newly established Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology as the first chairperson. It was the time of the heightened enthusiasm about the final phase of the human genome project (HGP). The excitement of unraveling the fundamental information of human life was palpable here in Bangladesh too, and the newly established Department of GEB was rightfully vibrant with the discussions on various aspects of that mammoth work.
From the very first year of establishment, the Department has attracted the best minds of the country- and the trend is still continuing. Every year the top-ranked students under the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the university admission test choose to get admitted in this Department. The Department has moved from Science Workshop building where it has been temporarily housed for about nine long years to its new niche on the 5th floor of the Science-Complex building on December 9, 2009. Currently, the Department is continuing its progressive journey under the chairmanship of Professor Dr. Sabina Yeasmin.
In the last 20 years, the Department has grown with regards to the number of students, faculties, and research capabilities. Every year, 20 students get admitted to this Department at the undergraduate level. Most of them choose to continue Masters degree here after their graduation. The students who have graduated from this department have made strong presences in the leading research institutes and universities around the world. In recent years, the Department has been equipped with many of the latest technologies in molecular biology, thanks to the sincere efforts of the faculties of the Department who have worked hard to achieve this. Two HEQEP projects under the leadership of Professor Dr. M. Aftab Uddin and Professor Dr. Sharif Akhterurzzaman have been successfully completed resulting in excellent infrastructure and capacity building. Now the Department is poised to conduct any research in the area of molecular biology and genetic engineering at a competitive standard.