PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology 2019-01-14T15:36:54+00:00

PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology

PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology

The Programme

This doctoral program provides the students with specific competencies and skills related to the understanding and research of biological systems at the molecular, cellular and system level. Also about their function, interaction, and their involvement in disease processes. It also includes the application of biological tools and systems in biotechnological applications.

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Our Differential Value in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of A Coruña

Why study this programme?

The PhD program in Cellular and Molecular Biology is an official college degree training that addresses key molecular and cell biological research. With the collaboration of the Institute of Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC), it aims to train on methodological and instrumental skills to develop research projects in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Plant Physiology and Biomedicine.

News & Notes about this PhD

CONFERENCIA 2 de Junio 2023

June 1st, 2023|

Conferencia CICA con la Dra. Ana Arda 2023.06.02. cartel Ana Arda.pdf Invitada: Ana Arda Título: “Glycan-Lectin molecular recognition: New NMR strategies and key molecular mechanisms” Fecha: viernes, [...]

Postdoctoral Position

May 29th, 2023|

Se ofrece una posición postdoctoral completamente financiada en Columbia University (Nueva York) en la laboratorio del Dr. Viraj Sanghvi, quien se centra en el estudio de los [...]

May 26th, 2023|

ACTIVIDADES FORMATIVAS Todos los alumnos que os matriculasteis por primera vez en el PD BCM desde el curso 2021-22 o anteriores debéis incluir las [...]

Becas Fundación San Rafael

May 25th, 2023|

Programa de becas de la Fundación San Rafael, abiertas hasta el 7 de julio: estancias predoc, ayudas postdoc y atracción de talento (para iberoamericanos [...]


Technologies Used

  • Microbial cultures

  • Cellular cultures

  • Animal models

  • In vitro cultives

  • Cytogenetics

  • Genomics

  • Proteomics

  • Metagenomics

  • Transcriptomics

  • Interactomics

  • Mutagenesis

  • Biochemistry and DNA recombinant techniques

  • Bioinformatics

Access to research groups

The student will prepare the research project integrated in one of the following research groups which participate in the PhD programme.

  • Transcriptional factors
  • HMGB proteins and Cancer
  • Metagenomics
  • Structure and protein engineering
  • Heterologous expression of proteins and industrial uses

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Mechanims for regulation of yeast gene expression and RNA processing

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  • Cytogenetic characterization of marine organisms
  • Identification of molecular markers in bivalve mollusks
  • Genetic toxicology in molluscs and human populations
  • Biomarkers of contamination and toxicity
  • Population genetics and evolution

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  • Environmental toxicity
  • Occupational toxicity
  • Biomarkers
  • Genotoxicity
  • Immunotoxicity
  • Apoptosis

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The group’s basic research lines focus on:

  • The evolution of floral traits and the evolutionary history of populations and species of Gramineae
  • The evolution of characters in the life history of amphibians and reptiles
  • The genetic differentiation of populations of terrestrial and marine organisms
  • The conservation and management of biological populations and communities, particularly birds, amphibians, reptiles and crustaceans
  • The interactions between hosts and guests
  • The interactions between human society and wildlife
  • The evolution of retroviral-type mobile elements in different species, including humans
  • The structure and function of ribosomes, with particular attention to the pathogenic potential of mutations in human mitochondrial ribosomal protein genes
  • The development of methodologies to elucidate the differences in the gene expression patterns in different individuals (ribosome profiling)
  • The phylogeny of the peroxidases responsible for lignification, as well as the regulation of their expression
  • The analysis and characterization of lignines in different taxonomic groups

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Use of microalgae in aquaculture. Obtaining products of industrial interest. Alterations in microalgae and cyanobacteria caused by stress in the presence of pesticides. Mechanisms of toxic action and tolerance to metals in microalgal cells. Control of the microbiological quality of water and food.

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Anatomical organization and the development of the nervous system in fish. Its goal is to extract basic principles enabling us to understand better the operation and evolution of the encephalon of vertebrates. The main study model is the zebrafish (Danio rerio). This species has multiple characteristics that have turned it in recent years into an excellent experimental model in neuroscience, as its encephalon is very transparent to light, enabling very high-resolution structural data to be obtained in both adults and larvae. In addition, the group has available to it a large number of transgenic and mutant lines enabling us to study specific neuronal populations in great detail.

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  • Physiological mechanisms of plant-pathogen interaction and abiotic stress
  • Control of plant diseases: Induced resistance, fungicide products of plant origin, phyto-fortifiers and biological control
  • Study of alkaloid metabolism
  • Oxidative metabolism: study of enzymatic and non-enzymatic detoxification mechanisms in vivo and in vitro

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  • Study of aging on immunogenic, proliferative and pluripotent profiles of mesenchymal stem cells from rat bone marrow
  • Study of mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord to perform studies of chondrogenic differentiation for use in regenerative cellular cartilage articular therapies
  • Study of in vitro models of the rare Progeria disease by creating two lines of mesenchymal stem cells that overexpress LMNA and PG respectively
  • Study of migration of mesenchymal stem cells transformed with GFP in animal models

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  • Study of the physiology, etiology and pathogenesis of diseases of the skin and breast
  • Search for new therapeutic targets
  • Research new prevention and improvement of diagnostic and prognostic techniques
  • Development of personalized therapies

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  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Spondyloarthropathies
  • Connectivopathies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Microcrystalline arthritis
  • Biomarkers for Diagnosis
  • Prognosis and treatment response study in Rheumatic Diseases
  • Study of the genetic basis of Rheumatic Diseases
  • Study of the Biology of Aging of Cartilage in Osteoarthritis

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  • Identification and study of the mechanism of action of new antitumor agents against new therapeutic targets
  • Search for biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic response
  • Investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in tumor progression, based on the involvement of proteins, miRNAs oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes

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  • Mitochondrial dysfunction on the development of the inflammatory response and its involvement in the joint pathology
  • In vitro, in vivo and ex vivo effect of naturally compounds on mechanisms that characterize diseases associated with aging
  • Involvement of the transcription factor Nrf2 in synovial angiogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of the structural and functional changes of the peritoneal membrane in peritoneal dialysis patients

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Endocrine Physiopathology and Nutrition Research.

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  • Antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial resistance mechanisms
  • Nosocomial Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology
  • Pathogenicity or interaction mechanisms Microorganism-Guest
  • Multiply-Resistant Microorganisms and Rapid Diagnosis

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Integrity of genetic material, in different cell types, considering the stability of DNA and chromosomes, and the response to genotoxic agents. These methodologies can be applied to various relevant fields of medicine, like the radiobiology-mutagenesis, aging, rheumatic diseases, infertility and bacterial resistance.

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15 places

Offered each academic year


The application opens in

August and February



EHEA students

200,00 €/ year

Non-EHEA students

300,00 €/ year

Academic Tutelage
Administrative Taxes

Career and Academic Opportunities

  • Researcher in the public or private sector

  • University Professor

  • Promoter Biotechnology Company

  • Research Manager

  • Specialist R&D&I

Training activities

  • Research Seminars

  • Participation in scientific meetings & conferences

  • Research stays in other centers offering access to the international PhD modality

  • Participation in specialized courses for technical training

  • General activities organized by the International Doctoral School of the UDC

Research Lines

1.1 Molecular biology of RNA and proteins
1.2 DNA damage
1.3 Gene expression and applications
1.4 Genetics of marine organisms

2.1 Evolutionary biology
2.2 Microalgae
2.3 Plant physiology
2.4 Vertebrate neuroanatomy

3.1 Clinical microbiology and infectious pathologies
3.2 Human genetics and genetic toxicology
3.3 Tissue engineering
3.4 Research in rheumatology
3.5 Aging and inflammation

Students acquire skills which allow to understand life science problems and their involvement in disease, the use of biological tools in biotechnological applications and other processes affecting society.

Contacts & Coordinator

María Esperanza Cerdán Villanueva

Chemistry Department
Faculty of Science
University of A Coruña
Phone: +34-881012141