The doctoral program "Molecular Physiology of the Brain" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). The graduate school offers a joint modular training program to which the twelve doctoral programs of GGNB contribute and that is open to all GGNB students. In addition to a lecture and seminar program, training consists of (1) individual counselling by thesis committees, (2) intensive methods courses of 1-3 weeks in special training labs, (3) 2-3-day methods courses in the laboratories of the participating faculty, (4) professional skills courses such as scientific writing, presentation skills, intercultural communication, project management, team-leadership skills, conflict resolution, ethics, and career development, and (5) student-organized scientific meetings, industry excursions, and intercultural events. Students are able to tailor their individual curriculum by choosing from a large number of courses and events.
The program is designed for graduates from all areas of life sciences and medicine and provides them with a comprehensive training in key methods of modern molecular and cellular neurobiology such as biochemistry, molecular biology, cell staining and imaging, electrophysiology, systems physiology, light and electron microscopy, and genetics in at least one classical model organism. This is achieved by combining the expertise of local scientists whose skills cover all relevant technical and conceptual requirements. The ultimate aim is to educate a new generation of young neuroscientists with an open-minded conceptual approach and a methodological repertoire that allows them to tackle the key future problems in molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience.
At the theoretical level, the program contributes to GGNB training with combined lecture and seminar classes on biochemical techniques for protein purification and identification, modern microscopy and imaging techniques, electrophysiological techniques, and genetic model organisms. At the practical level, the program systematically provides short introductory courses on electron microscopy techniques, life imaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, ES cell techniques and mouse genetics, and C. elegans genetics. Furthermore, the program will be primarily responsible for a state-of-the-art research training lab in electrophysiology (established in 2008).
Experimental research constitutes the major component of the doctoral studies and is conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member of the doctoral program. Doctoral research projects are complemented by a school-wide training program, offered to all GGNB students, who are members of a vibrant international research community. The language of the doctoral program is English.