PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology


What you learn

Biomedicine • Mechanisms of degradation of articular tissue • Proteomic study of human articular chondrocytes and synoviocytes • Aging • Beta-lactamases and clinical microbiology • Infertility

Cell Biology • Study of the nervous system of vertebrates

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology • Regulation of gene expression in yeast • Structural characterization of proteins in yeast • Molecular studies of interest in biotechnology • Interactions between proteins and protein-nucleic acids • Mechanisms of RNA transcription and processing

Plant Physiology • Study of the metabolism of capsaicinoids in pepper fruit •Peroxidases and lignification • Study of antioxidative metabolism in the plant-pathogen interaction • Study of the involvement of phytohormones in plant response to pathogens and physiological changes associated with that response • Plant-pathogen interaction

Genetics and molecular cytogenetic characterization of marine organisms. • Evolutionary relationships and species differentiation in the bivalve families • Identification of molecular markers in bivalve molluscs • Structure, function and evolution of proteins associated with the chromatin fiber • Biomarkers of toxicity in bivalve molluscs • Determination of toxicity at the genetic level • Human genetics • Genetic basis of sterility and inviability of interspecific hybrids of Drosophila • Comparative analysis of the evolution and dynamics of mobile elements; transpositional retroviral type • Use of molecular markers to study the genetic structure and phylogeography of natural populations

Microbiology • Alterations in microalgae and cyanobacteria caused by stress in the presence of toxic pesticides • Mechanisms of action and tolerance to metals in microalgal cells • Control of the microbiological quality of water and food • Flow elements like carbon and nitrogen in coastal microbial systems • Study the effect of different contaminants in sistemasacuáticos on the physiology of microalgae • Microalgae Biotechnology

Generic skills

In this doctoral program students acquire general skills that allow them to understand life science problems affecting society and address them from a scientific method; as well as develop relationship skills with other scientists and the task to communicate science to society.

Link to the general competencies /skills teaching guide:


Specific skills

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.

Link to specifc competencies/skills of the teaching guide:


Professional and academic career

Professional and academic career

  • Researcher in the public or private sector.
  • University Professor.
  • Promoter Biotechnology Company.
  • Research Manager.
  • Specialist I + D + i.

Companies and institutions involved

Biomedical Research Institute A Coruña (INIBIC). There is agreement

Research lines

This are the main research lines for current study.

  • Biología evolutiva
  • Biología molecular de RNA y proteínas
  • Daño en el DNA
  • Envejecimiento e inflamación
  • Expresión génica en levaduras y aplicaciones
  • Fisiología de plantas
  • Genética de organismos marinos
  • Genética humana y toxicología genética
  • Ingeniería tisular
  • Investigación en reumatología
  • Microalgas
  • Microbiología clínica y patologías infecciosas
  • Neuroanatomía de vertebrados

Planning for teaching

Additional subject teaching

Candidates who do not meet all the necessary prior learning conditions for the programme may be required to complete additional courses in the form of subjects and modules from UDC Master’s and undergraduate programmes. The number of credits from additional subject teaching will not exceed 15 ECTS credits, which students may choose to complete before or after enrolment in the PhD programme.

Students who do not opt to complete additional coursework prior to enrolment should register for their extra subjects or modules at the same time as the PhD. Failure to complete additional coursework within a period of three consecutive terms will result in the termination of the student’s registration.

See also UDC PhD Policies and Regulations, Article 16: Applications.

EIDUDC teaching and training activities

EIDUDC teaching and training activities

Programme-specific teaching and training activities

RESEARCH SEMINARS. In these sesions the research topics of the PhD Program are discussed and students expose their work. Rating: Attendance and participation.

PARTICIPATION IN SCIENTIFIC CONGRESSES AND CONFERENCES. Are recognized as educational activities to a maximum of 30 hours per year for assistance with participation to scientific meetings, provided they come guaranteed by the director and tutor of the thesis. Rating: Certificate of attendance and participation .

RADIATION PROTECTION AND USE OF ISOTOPES IN BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH. Biennial voluntary activity that is intended to provide ongoing training necessary to update the authorized use of un-encapsulated radioisotopes in biological research s. Rating: Attendance and participation.

RESEARCH STAYS IN OTHER CENTERS. Stays at other research centers, thus offering access to the international PhD. Rating: The director/ tutor of the thesis is responsible for monitoring the work of the student.

PARTICIPATION IN SPECIALIZED COURSES. It is a specific activity for each student, and it is addressed to his participation in courses related to skills needed to support their research. These courses are often international, supported by scientific societies, and are highly competitive in the admission of students; therefore they provide an opportunity for high-level training. The Director / Tutor of the thesis will propose to the students in which courses should request acceptance, based on their track record. Rating: Certificate of attendance / participation.


Supervision agreement

The PhD supervision agreement defines the academic relationship between the candidate and the University, the rights and responsibilities of each (including any intellectual and/or industrial property rights resulting from the candidate’s research), the procedures in place in relation to conflict resolution, and the duration of the agreement. It also specifies the duties of the PhD tutor and supervisor.

The supervision agreement must be signed by the candidate, tutor and designated university representative (or representatives) within a maximum period of one month as from the date of registration. The supervisor’s signature may be added subsequently, once a supervisor has been appointed.

When the document has been signed by all the relevant parties, the agreement is then added to the candidate’s record of activities.

See also UDC PhD Policies and Regulations, Article 31: Supervision agreement.

Research plan

The candidate must prepare a research plan within six months of registration, with information regarding methodology, objectives, resources and milestones. The research plan is submitted together with the report of the supervisor and/or tutor for approval by the Academic Committee for PhD Programmes (CAPD). Improvements to the plan may be introduced with the approval of the supervisor and/or tutor based on the annual review of the student’s research progress.

Research plans are subject to annual review by the CAPD, including the report(s) of the supervisor and/or tutor and the candidate’s record of activities. Students will be permitted to continue with their studies if the outcome of the review is satisfactory. If the outcome is negative, the student will be required to submit a new plan within a period of six months. If the committee is still not satisfied, the candidate will be removed from the programme.

See also UDC PhD Policies and Regulations, Article 30: Research plan.

Student mobility

UDC holds student mobility agreements with universities and other third-level institutions across four continents. Students are offered several opportunities each year to apply to study abroad in one of these centres (for a single term or for a whole year), with the guarantee that all credits obtained will be duly recognised in their academic record upon their return.

For each round of applications, the University publishes the list of exchange options available to students and, where relevant, the specific conditions associated with each. Students may also apply to the University for funding for international work experience placements and internships.

Work experience placements are accredited in the student's academic record and the European diploma supplement. Students are free to decide in which host company or academic institution within the EHEA they wish to carry out their placement. To assist them in their search, the University has created an online noticeboard with jobs postings and other news.

Work-study placements in A Coruña are arranged by the International Relations Office (ORI) of the UDC in collaboration with the international relations coordinators in the student’s home university. The general entry criteria, rights and obligations of students, and admission and acceptance procedures for the programme, are regulated by the UDC Mobility Policy.