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Molecular Biology and Genetics

PhD programme for the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics

The programme:

The PhD programme ’Molecular Biology and Genetics’ comprises a large number of projects within molecular life sciences. Even though projects are not necessarily limited to the fields described below, the list gives a comprehensive overview of the activities at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics:

Molecular Medicine

Molecular embryology and fertility, Retroviruses in tumorgenesis and as gene vectors, Neurobiology, Stem cells, Cell differentiation and development, Disease models in zebrafish, Ageing, Regulation by cytokines and peptides, Cell signalling, Regulation of cell function and differentiaiton by phosphate, Plasminogen activation, Molecular genetics, Genomic instability, DNA topology, RNA processing, mRNA control, Transcriptional regulation, Infectious patogenes.

Structural Biology

Structure-function analysis, Macromolecular crystallography, Protein complexes, Translational apparatus, RNA regulation and processing, mRNA control, Membrane proteins, Primary and secondary transporters, Neuroreceptors, Carbohydrate and scavenger receptors, Calcium binding proteins, Cytokines and peptide hormones, Proteolytic enzymes, Innate immunity, Protein engineering.

Systems Biology

Animal and plant genome sequencing, Genome annotation, non coding RNA biology, MicroRNA biology, Genetic mapping of complex traits, Identification of disease genes, Disease models, Functional genomics, Molecular genetics, Epigenetics, Expression quantitative trait loci, Transcriptomics, Genetic and structural variation, Metagenomics, Bioinformatics.

Plant Molecular Biology

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation, Plant development, Seed formation, Plant-microbe interaction, Genetics and genomics, Plant biotechnology, Molecular biological studies of cereals and grasses, Gene expression analysis, Biolistic and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of barley and wheat, Transgenic plants, QTL analysis of perennial ryegrass with primary focus on flowering, cell wall composition and male sterility, Mechanisms behind the availability, utilization and metabolism of phosphate, nitrogen, starch, amino acids, minerals and cell walls, New cereal and grass varieties with improved properties for yield and use as feed, food and biomass for bioethanol production, Biomass production in wheat and ryegrass, BAC libraries, genetic mapping, microsatellite markers, laser capture microdissection, microarray.

Quantitative Genetics

Quantitative and integrative genomics, Animal and plant breeding, Genomic selection, Statistical genetics, Genetic improvement and diversity, Genetic basis of complex traits and diseases, Genomic predictions, Selection and breed conservation programs, Phenomics, Integration of 'omics' data, Model organisms (mouse, Drosophila, Arabidopsis), animals (cattle, pigs, mink, aquaculture), plants (rye grass).

Research facilities available:

The PhD programme in Molecular Biology and Genetics allows students to take advantage of a range of modern and advanced technologies in addition to standard molecular biology methododologies. Advanced methods include: Next generation sequencing, DNA array technology, greenhouses and controlled environment cabinets for growth of transgenic plants, stables for transgenic animals, mink breeding facilities, facilities for zebrafish, class 2 cell culture facilities, macromolecular x-ray crystallography, biophysics equipment for measurements of kinetic/equilibrium parameters, 3D molecular graphics, nano-drop macromolecular crystallization equipment, high resolution protein purification, fermentation, and large scale protein production.

International collaboration:

A large part of the projects of the PhD programme involve interaction between molecular biology and medicine and are therefore naturally carried out in collaboration with research groups at AU Health. These projects are mainly aimed at 1) understanding and preventing the development of diseases, 2) improving diagnostic methods based on a molecular understanding of human diseases, and/or 3) developing novel therapeutic approaches towards human diseases. Some projects focus on understanding protein function, because such knowledge is required for a molecular understanding of disease. Other projects focus at understanding disease at the level of the genome, or involve animal model systems. The PhD programme is a partner in the European Graduate School in Animal Breeding and Genetics (EGS-ABG, www.egsabg.eu).

Geographic location:

The PhD programme is associated with the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, which is situated at two locations in the Aarhus University campus (“Biokæden”, C. F. Møllers Allé 130 and Forskerparken, Gustav Wieds Vej 10c) and at two external locations at the agricultural Research Centre Foulum near Viborg and AU Flakkebjerg near Slagelse. More information about the locations.

Approx. number of PhD students:


Information for PhD students enrolled in the PhD programme  

Whom to contact

If you have any questions, both in connection with your start at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG), but also in general, please feel free to contact the Head of MBG's PhD Programme Committee or one of the PhD student secretaries (please see below) who can answer your questions, or help you further. 

Head of Programme

Local Programme Secretary, Molecular Biology, Aarhus

Helle Homann

Department Secretary

Local Programme Secretary, Genetics, Foulum/Flakkebjerg

GSST PhD Partner

Advisory committee

All PhD students from the MBG PhD programme located in Aarhus must have an advisory committee. The committee consists of the supervisor, and at least two other members, one of which must be a member of the scientific staff who is not involved in the project. This staff member may be a person from the Department and does not have to be 'external'.

The size of the committee is not limited, so any co-supervisor or daily supervisor is welcome to participate.

The committee should meet with the student at least every six months. The Qualifying exam can count as a meeting.

Please inform Helle Homann (heho@mbg.au.dk) about the members of your advisory committee and report to her the date when you have held a meeting.

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