The analysis of molecular elements involved in the functions of single cells, tissues, entire organs or whole organisms is key to understanding human health and disease. Organ development, homeostasis and maintenance are controlled by a large variety of intra-, inter- and extracellular signals that have to be integrated to guarantee coordinated cell-specific functions within a multi-cellular organism. Impairment of these signals leads to a lack of coordination and to malfunction. Accordingly, diseases can be viewed as defects in such molecular signaling elements, and this holds true not only for rare monogenetic diseases, but also for widespread diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases. Therefore, a thorough understanding of molecular physiology is an essential prerequisite for the perception of pathological alterations and clears the way for targeted therapy as the basis for functional restoration. In accordance with this principle, pharmacotherapeutic agents exert their actions by interfering with one or more molecular signaling elements, such as hormone receptors or associated signaling cascades.
The PhD program ‘Molecular Medicine’ at the Medical University of Graz provides talented and highly motivated students with challenging interrelated research topics derived from one of the following areas: metabolic diseases, inflammation and cancer.
The strong cluster of experienced scientists working in the research fields of the PhD program 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 PhD program 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.