Bone Muscle and Joint

The Medical University of Graz offers a Doctoral School “Bone, Muscle & Joint. The program provides cutting-edge education with respect to human diseases and therapeutics in the area of the musculoskeletal system. The thesis projects focus on various aspects of fracture healing, metabolic diseases, inflammation, autoimmunity, and primary and secondary bone and soft tissue tumors and integrate basic, applied and clinical sciences, as well as a wide spectrum of experimental techniques. Applicants must hold a Master´s degree or equivalent in Medicine, Chemistry or Life Sciences. English is the language used for teaching, communication and writing of the Thesis and thus, excellent English skills are required.


The Doctoral school BMJ aims to investigate the pathophysiology of musculoskeletal disorders. For example one focus is to gain new knowledge related to molecular elements leading to the development of these diseases and / or aging of bones, muscle & joints. Our interdisciplinary approach enables high transfer of knowledge and science and helps to investigate common as well as rare diseases. The departments involved include Rheumatology, Orthopaedics, Traumatology, Forensic Sciences, Infectiology, Oncology, Radiology and numerous others.  

The Doctoral School “Bone, Muscle & Joint at the Medical University of Graz provides talented and highly motivated students with challenging interdisciplinary research projects derived from one of the following areas in relation to the musculoskeletal system: fracture healing, metabolic diseases, inflammation, autoimmunity, and primary and secondary bone and soft tissue tumors.  

An interdisciplinary team of experienced clinicians and high ranking scientists working in the research fields of the Doctoral School provides the students with the infrastructure and the stimulating research environment to ensure high-level scientific training and successful research projects. In addition to the interdisciplinary in-depth training for specific thesis projects using state-of-the-art techniques, the program includes extensive training activities such as seminars, journal clubs, training courses and workshops. The overall aim of the program is to educate scientists for the purpose of being able to bridge basic biomedical sciences with preclinical (”translational”) and clinical science. Thus, graduates of the Doctoral School will be able to pursue their future careers in an academic as well as an industrial environment, and can be equally successful in the fields of training, research & development or marketing. 

Lectures and Courses

In addition to theoretical and practical training associated with the thesis project, the curriculum of Doctoral Studies of MUG comprises 20 SWH of lectures, seminars, and practical courses to be attended by the Doctoral students within the thesis period.

The BMJ training program has been set up in a way that these hours are filled with life, much to the benefit of the students and the scientific goals of the participating laboratories. They are perceived as the spice rather than the wearying part of students’ every-day lives. After completion of their studies in the Doc School BMJ, students will have achieved the following common training goals: 

  • Basic clinical knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of the most relevant musculoskeletal disorders
  • Understanding of the basic principles in immunology, oncogenesis and bone metabolism
  • Biomedical research concepts in the area of BMJ
  • Basic concepts in pathology, pathophysiology and microbiology 
  • Ethical issues in basic and clinical research, and Good Scientific and Clinical Practice 
  • Gender and diversity aspects in biomedical science
  • Publication of the research findings in a peer reviewed medical journal
  • Presentation of the research findings at a conference

Curricular Committee

The Curricular Committee is formed by 3 faculty members and the Speaker of the Faculty and the Student Speaker. The head of Curricular Committee organizes and chairs the meetings. Meetings have to take place at least twice per semester. 

The tasks of the Curricular Committee are:

  • to monitor and evaluate the on-going teaching program and examinations of BMJ
  • to analyze the evaluation forms of the participating students submitted on each BMJ training course
  • to suggest respective changes to the courses, work-shops and examinations of BMJ and all related materials where appropriate
  • to propose novel concepts and topics for courses and work-shops to broaden the teaching program of BMJ 
Head of Curricular Comittee
  • Birgit Lohberger, PhD MSc
  • Prof. Andreas Leithner, MD
  • Assoz. Prof. Patrick Sadoghi, MD
  • Assoz. Prof. Stradner, Martin, MD
  • Magdalena Postruznik, MD


Birgit Lohberger PhD MSc
T: +43 316 385 81640
Birgit Lohberger

Deputy Speaker

Andreas Leithner MD
T: +43 316 385 14807
Andreas Leithner