Sophia College for Women
(Empowered Autonomous)
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Senior College


About the Subject

Throughout history, microorganisms have had a huge impact on human life. Microbiology is the study of microorganisms – Living things that are too small to be seen by the unaided eye. This discipline includes fundamental studies on the ultrastructure of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cell, Genetics, Biochemistry, Ecology, Analytical techniques, pathogenic microorganisms and the host immune responses to these agents as well as studies on Air, Soil, Water, Sewage, Food and Industrial Microbiology. All of the above are a part of the UG and PG curriculum designed by the department.

About the Department

The Department of Microbiology at Sophia College established in the year 1966 was the fourth college to offer Microbiology as a principal subject at the B.Sc Level. The M.Sc (by Papers) degree course was initiated in 1977 and extended to 10 seats in the year 2003. It is also one of the departments recognized under Star College Scheme and Star Status Colleges, Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

The Department provides excellent education in Microbiology in both teaching and research to meet the demands of this growing field. The conventional, yet effective chalk and board teaching is supplemented with several innovative teaching-learning methodologies. Some of these are-

  • ICT based methods such as E-Classroom and Flip the classroom

  • Active learning by involving students in simple research activities through the use of “Research Based Pedagogical Tools (RBPTs), research paper and poster presentations. Some of these activities are supported by the DBT STAR Status Colleges, DBT. The students are also encouraged to participate in the three-year Excellence in Science Education Program (EXSP) where they get an opportunity to enhance learning and acquire high order skills.

  • The Department has air conditioned undergraduate, post graduate and PhD laboratories with basic and advanced instrumentation facilities and internet connectivity.

  • Experiential learning through promotion of short-term internships, educational visits to food and dairy industry, sewage treatment plant, pharmaceutical laboratories, hospitals and research laboratories.


Undergraduate programme

The UG programme is open to female students only.

  • Under NEP 2020, the department is offering Microbiology as Discipline Specific Core (DSC) subject as well as Vocational Skill Course (VSC) at the FYBSc level.

  • The programme is aimed at imparting basic knowledge in the field of Microbiology. The topics include study of microbial cell structure and function, microscopy, staining procedures, cultivation of microorganisms and control of microorganisms, study of other groups of microorganisms like algae, fungi, actinomycetes, viruses, and protozoa. Microbial interactions, Microbes and Health and Microbial Technology are some of the other interesting topics taught.

  • The students exiting or continuing after the first year Microbiology course will be equipped with skills required to work in a Microbiology laboratory.

Postgraduate programme

The M.Sc program is open to both female and male students.

  • The M.Sc course is an extension of the undergraduate curriculum dealing with all the branches of Microbiology at a considerable depth and blends the upcoming fields as well as advances in the subject.

  • Research is an integral aspect of the curriculum and includes planning and execution of a dissertation. The outcomes of a number of the dissertations have been published in peer reviewed journals.

  • Participation and presentations - both oral and posters in conferences, workshops and research meets is encouraged.

  • Field projects, Educational visits and short-term internship at a pathological laboratory are also included.

  • The students who complete the postgraduate programme in Microbiology are well trained in the subject and find employment in areas like Quality control, Research and Development, Clinical Research, Teaching etc. 

Ph.D programme

The department is recognized for a Ph.D programme.

There are six students who have been admitted to the PhD programme. They are carrying out research on contemporary topics like development of antibacterial packaging material, biofuels, biocontrol of plant pathogens using various strategies, biosurfactants and microbial fuel cells.

Dr. Arjumanara Surti

Head of Department

Position: Associate Professor and Head of the department of Microbiology 


Subject Expertise /Research Interest: Microbial Biochemistry / Biodegradation  / Nanobiotechnology.

Recognized Postgraduate Teacher of University of Mumbai and PhD guide in the subject of Microbiology

Dr. Rajbinder Kaur Dehiya 

Qualifications: M.Sc, Ph.D

Position: Associate Professor 



Subject Expertise /Research Interest: Genetics /Environmental Microbiology

Recognized Postgraduate Teacher of University of Mumbai 

Ms. Shraddha S. Prabhu

Qualification: M.Sc., NET 

Position:   Assistant Professor.


Subject Expertise /Research Interest:  Food / Agricultural Microbiology and microbial enzymes.

Recognized Postgraduate Teacher of University of Mumbai


Mr. Vijay Vig

Qualifications: MSc, NET, SET

Position: Assistant Professor



Subject Expertise /Research Interest:  General Microbiology/ Microbial Genetics/ Molecular Biology/  Virology/ Bioprocess technology/ Fermentation technology/ Extremophiles/ Environmental Microbiology.

Recognized Postgraduate Teacher of University of Mumbai

Ms. Swamini Patade

Qualifications: MSc, NET


Position: Assistant Professor (CHB) 

Subject Expertise /Research Interest:  Immunology/ Biochemistry/ Enzyme kinetics/ Industrial Microbiology/ Bioremediation/ Phytochemicals/ Microbial fuel cell/ Stem cell/ Cancer research.

Ms. Ayesha Shaikh

Qualifications: MSc, PET 

Position: Assistant Professor (Ad-hoc)


Subject Expertise /Research Interest:   General Microbiology/ Medical Microbiology/ Nano-biotechnology/ Medical Microbiology/ Nano-biotechnology/ Molecular Biology/ Biodegradation studies.

Research Interest: Registered as a PhD. Student.

Ms. Vaibhavi Mullassery

Qualifications: MSc.

Position: Assistant Professor (Ad-Hoc)


Subject Expertise /Research Interest:  General Microbiology/ Environmental Microbiology/ Food Microbiology/ Epidemiology/ Sustainable development/  Food and Nutrition.

Ms. Aafreen Ansari

Qualifications: MSc.

Position: Assistant Professor (Ad-Hoc)



Subject Expertise /Research Interest: General Microbiology/ Environmental Microbiology/ Food Microbiology/Immunology/ Biodegradation studies.

Ms.Priyanka R. Mithbawkar

M.Sc., SET



Subject Expertise: General Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Cell biology, Bio-process Technology, Nano-biotechnology.