PhD in Genes and Development
Degree: Promotion/ Ph.D. (Dr.rer.nat.) (Ph.D.)
Standard period of study: 6 semesters
Starting semester: Summer and winter semester
Application: limited admission (application to faculty)
Language skills: Englisch (proof requiered)
The doctoral program "Genes and Development" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). It is hosted by the Göttingen Center for Molecular Biosciences (GZMB) and is conducted jointly by the University of Göttingen, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, and the German Primate Center.
Training shall enable the students to integrate knowledge and methods from classical developmental biology, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and infection biology. The faculty members are experienced in many of the relevant model organisms, including fungi (Aspergillus, Verticillium), plants (Arabidopsis, tobacco), nematodes (C. elegans), insects (Drosophila, Tribolium) and vertebrates (Xenopus, chicken, mouse).
The research-oriented program is taught in English and open to students who hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in the biosciences, chemistry, physics, medicine, or related fields. As part of an international recruitment, applications are welcome until 15 January, 15 May and 15 September. Alternatively, applications can be addressed independent of deadlines directly to individual faculty members of the program.
The program accepts students from diverse areas of previous education who share enthusiasm for studying cells. Training is aimed at achieving a comparative understanding of how cell fate and topology are determined, a critical sense of how to apply comprehensive genomic analysis tools, and the ability to set up and test conceptual models for cellular functions.
The research activities of the program are centered around three topics:
- The generation of cellular asymmetries that cause cell fate diversity in developing organisms: This topic focuses on molecular mechanisms that control cell polarity and lead to the asymmetric localization of RNAs and proteins, which are involved in cell fate specification.
- Protein and RNA modifications that function as molecular switches during development and in host pathogen interactions: This topic deals with modifications of proteins and RNAs, including phosphorylation, sumoylation, methylation and alternative splicing that alter the activities of these molecules in developmental processes.
- Identification of molecules that mediate the communication between two or more organisms: Research on this topic is mainly dedicated to the identification and functional characterization of molecules that are involved in host-pathogen interactions.
Since cutting-edge research requires highly sophisticated technologies such as advanced fluorescence microscopy, generation of transgenic organisms, expression profiling and proteomics, an intensive exchange between the graduate students and principal investigators in this program is essential for ensuring optimal progress in each research project.
The doctoral program "Genes and Development" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). The graduate school offers a joint modular training program to which the twelve doctoral programs of GGNB contribute and that is open to all GGNB students. In addition to a lecture and seminar program, training consists of (1) individual counselling by thesis committees, (2) intensive methods courses of 1-3 weeks in special training labs, (3) 2-3-day methods courses in the laboratories of the participating faculty, (4) professional skills courses such as scientific writing, presentation skills, intercultural communication, project management, team-leadership skills, conflict resolution, ethics, and career development, and (5) student-organized scientific meetings, industry excursions, and intercultural events. Students are able to tailor their individual curriculum by choosing from a large number of courses and events.
Training shall enable the students to integrate knowledge and methods from classical developmental biology, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and infection biology. The program’s faculty is convinced that scientific progress in these fields depends on the combined expertise in several of these disciplines and therefore aims at overcoming the boundaries between these conventional disciplines. The faculty members are experienced in many of the model organisms used in developmental biology and host-pathogen interactions, including fungi (Aspergillus, Verticillium), plants (Arabidopsis, tobacco), nematodes (C. elegans), insects (Drosophila, Tribolium) and vertebrates (Xenopus, chicken, mouse). In addition to a seminar series on developmental biology, additional lecture series and practical courses on the use of these systems are offered including advanced microscopy, transgenic technologies, gene knockout and RNA interference technologies.
Experimental research constitutes the major component of the doctoral studies and is conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member of the doctoral program. Doctoral research projects are complemented by a school-wide training program, offered to all GGNB students, who are members of a vibrant international research community. The language of the doctoral program is English.
Last updated May 23, 2016