Ph.D. in Molecular Biology of Cells
The doctoral program "Molecular Biology of Cells" 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.
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.
The program accepts students from diverse areas of previous education who share an 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.
This program unites research activities aimed at an integrated view of the cell and its regulatory networks, with the leading question being how ‘subcellular modules’ of cells interact and function at the level of genetic information, regulation, physiology, and topology.
Model systems range from prokaryotes (bacteria and Archaea) and eukaryotic microbes to plant and animal cells including disease models, enabling the identification of conserved principles. Furthermore, platforms are available for the analysis of genomes, transcription signatures, large-scale protein identification, metabolomics, imaging, as well as large-scale analysis and quantitative modeling, covered by faculty members who are experts in bioinformatics.
Research centers around two major themes. The first deals with cell properties and cell fate control, asking how cells control their proliferation and survival, their differentiation and function, and their response to external signals ranging from nutrients to stress. These interrelated phenomena are based on regulatory networks, and their understanding greatly benefits from the identification of common traits across kingdoms. The second theme deals with topology and dynamics of intracellular compartments. A major task is to identify unifying principles and individual details of how cells achieve, maintain and adjust their spatial organization.
The doctoral program "Molecular Biology of Cells" 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.
The program accepts students from diverse areas of previous education who share the 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. A comparative lecture series, typically presented by two or more speakers per session, covers analogous phenomena in different species and even kingdoms. Methods courses will assist all students in the analysis of genomes, transcription signatures, large-scale protein identification, high content analysis of cell morphology and regulation, metabolomics, as well as large-scale analysis and quantitative modeling through the participants who specialize in bioinformatics.
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.
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Last updated February 13, 2018