Molecular Physiology of the Brain

The doctoral program "Molecular Physiology of the Brain" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). It is hosted by the DFG Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CMPB) and is conducted jointly by the University of Göttingen, the Max Planck Institutes for Biophysical Chemistry, for Experimental Medicine, and for Dynamics and Self-Organization, the German Primate Center, and the European Neuroscience Institute. A Steering Committee ensures that the thesis projects by the prospective students fit thematically within the research areas of the CMPB (

The research-oriented program is taught in English and open to students who hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in the life sciences, medicine, or related fields.

Mainly fueled by the advent of new methodologies such as high-sensitivity protein analytics, molecular biology, or forward and reverse genetics in model organisms, the molecular analysis of nervous system function has developed over the past two decades into one of the most successful and productive research fields in modern biology. This development has led to numerous breakthrough discoveries such as the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission between nerve cells or of the basis of complex brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or the Rett Syndrome, to name just two.

The research and teaching activities in the program are dedicated to the molecular analysis of brain function. The selection of the faculty - with experts in biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology and imaging, in yeast, fly, worm, and mouse genetics, in electrophysiology, and in morphology - and the teaching and research topics reflect the commitment to a comprehensive training, which is both possible and absolutely necessary in modern molecular neurobiology and which should lead from molecules to cells, from cells to systems, and from systems to complex behavior and dysfunction in animals. Such diversity will allow for a comprehensive theoretical and practical teaching curriculum that will prepare students in an ideal way for the requirements and demands of modern molecular neuroscience research. The program will provide them with all the technical knowledge necessary to tackle molecular, biochemical, and analytical problems, to extent their analysis to the cellular and organism level using genetics, and to analyze even complex systems with state-of-the-art physiological and morphological techniques.