Cellular Basis of Diseases (CBD) –
an interdisciplinary PhD program on the molecular control of metabolism & inflammation

We connect basic life science and computational biology with medicine

life sciences

computational biology


at the Medical University of Innsbruck
part of the
Molecular and Cellular Biology of Diseases PhD Program
Cellular Basis of Diseases: Molecular Control of Metabolism and Inflammation

­App. (30 trillion) cells form the human body. In healthy individuals these cells work together and maintain organismal function. While it is clear that defects in cellular function are the basis for most diseases, the underlying molecular defects are poorly understood and it is unclear how they contribute to disease. With our PhD program ‘Cellular Basis of Diseases’, we offer 15 interdisciplinary PhD projects to address these questions and to integrate hypothesis-driven basic research with clinical research.

The major research goals are to understand the cellular mechanisms of disease with a particular emphasis on:

  • metabolic signaling pathways in the gastrointestinal tract and in the liver and
  • how these pathways intersect with the reprogramming of immune cells.

Our major training goals are:

  • to generate an exciting and collaborative research environment that will enable our PhD students to make discoveries that help to better understand and to treat diseases.
  • to mentor PhD students who are driven by curiosity and enjoy the challenge of solving complex scientific questions with passion and motivation.

To integrate these disciplines, our PhD program provides an interface between basic and clinical sciences with faculty members from  these disciplines. Each PhD project is interdisciplinary and therefore guided by a tandem supervisor team always consisting of one physician scientist and one basic researcher. The organization into such research teams will result in joint goals with true interdisciplinary collaborations. Our PhD students will be encouraged to reach out beyond their own project and experience the benefits of the collaborative attitude across our PhD program. This setup is unique in Austria. We expect that it will stimulate out-of-the-box thinking rather than narrow, focused specialization to prepare our PhD students for competitive positions as future scientific leaders at the international level.