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Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health

Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health

Academic year 2023-2024

General information

General information

Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health
Faculty of Science , Faculty of Nursing , Faculty of Medicine
Indicative number of places
Number of registered students
Official enrolment data
Valid report:
Report (2022)
Other information
AQU Indicators


The doctoral programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health aims to train researchers in the field of biology, medicine and nursing, so they are able to apply the research and scientific method to the development of knowledge on the molecular basis of life, the treatment of diseases and health promotion.

The programme offers doctoral students the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to conduct quality scientific research in the different branches of Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health. For this reason, its membership of first rate research groups at the University of Girona, healthcare institutions and research centres such as the IdibGI is emphasised. Special emphasis is placed on students participating in pioneering projects in their field, which enables them to receive high quality training in the methodologies, research techniques and data analysis techniques needed to carry out a research project. Moreover, the aim is to train students to analyse and respond to the ever-changing challenges of science, with a view to a future professional career.

Learning objectives

The fundamental aim of the Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health is to train high level researchers who are able to analyse changing contexts, respond to their needs through research and establish alliances with other researchers. This doctoral programme brings together all the research groups from the University of Girona and the Institute of Biomedical Research of Girona (IdIBGi) which have extensive experience, not only in the application of molecular biology, cellular biology ad genetics techniques, but also in designing statistical and data analysis methods in basic, biomedical and health related research.

Lines of research

1. Genomics and genetic architecture

Potential doctoral thesis directors: Dr. Oriol Vidal Fàbrega, Dr. Núria Sanz Ball·lloseraDr. Jordi Viñas de Puig

Tutors: Dr. Oriol Vidal FàbregaDra. Núria Sanz Ball·lloseraDr. Jordi Viñas de Puig

  • Analysis of the genetic diversity of animals of productive interest
  • Characterisation of the genomic architecture of adaptative characters
  • Environmental DNA

2. Cell and molecular biology in neurobiology.

Researchers who are potential doctoral thesis supervisors: Dr Gemma Huguet BlancoDr Elisabet Kadar GarcíaDr Joaquín Serena LealDr Yolanda Silva Blas, Dr Judith Mallolas Jiménez, Dr M. Ester Cubo Delgado, Dr Carme Gubern Mérida, Dr Gemma Carreras Badosa.

Tutors: Dr. Gemma Huguet BlancoDr. Elisabet Kadar García

  • Study of the cell and molecular changes induced by deep brain stimulation (DBS), a technique applied in Parkinson’s disease
  • Study of the cell and molecular changes produced by intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), a technique that facilitates learning and memory.

3. Biotechnological applications of recombinant proteins

Researchers and potential doctoral theses supervisors: Dr M. Vilanova Brugués, Dr Marc Ribó Panosa, Dr Antoni Benito Mundet, Dr Jessica Castro Gallegos

Tutors: Dr M. Vilanova Brugués,Dr Marc Ribó PanosaDr Antoni Benito Mundet, Dr Jessica Castro Gallegos

  • Study of the molecular bases of the mechanism of ribonuclease cytotoxicity
  • Design, obtaining and characterisation of the antitumour activity of variants of ribonucleases and of the apoptin and coordination compounds
  • Study of the molecular structure and bases of the mechanism of apoptin cytotoxicity
  • Development of new technologies based on protein splicing applied to the design of therapeutic agents and biosensors.
  • Studies on protein structure, folding and oligomerisation: applications in the study of the molecular mechanism of protein toxicity in protein-folding pathologies

4. Cancer diagnosis and therapy

Researchers who are potential doctoral thesis supervisors: Dr. Rafael de Llorens Duran, Dr. Rosa Peracaula Miró, Dr. Anna Massaguer Vall·llovera, Dr. Sílvia Barrabés Vera, Dr. Josep Comet BatlleDr. Esther Llop Escorihuela

Tutors: Dr Rafael de Llorens Duran,Dr Rosa Peracaula Miró, Dr Anna Massaguer Vall·lloveraDr Sílvia Barrabés VeraDr Esther Llop Escorihuela

  • Tumour markers: anomalous glycosilation of seric proteins as possible tumour markers of carcinomas. Non-invasive biomarkers in prostate cancer
  • Molecular mechanisms responsible for changes in glycosilation in tumours
  • Analogues of the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) as anti-tumour agents
  • Vehiculisation of antitumour agents

5. Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Researchers who are potential doctoral thesis supervisors: Dr. Jesús Garcia Gil, Dr. Xavier Aldeguer Mante, Dr. Margarita Martínez Medina

Tutor: Dr. Jesús Garcia GilDr. Margarita Martínez Medina

  • Microbiology of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Microbial diversity in infectious processes (infectious diseases)
  • Food safety. Molecular detection of pathogenic bacteria in foods.

6. Cardiovascular research

Researchers and potential doctoral theses supervisors: Dr Ramon Brugada Terradellas, Dr Sara Pagans Lista, Dr Fabiana Sílvia Scornik, Dr Guillermo Javier Pérez González, Dr E. Elosua, Dr Marcel Vergés Aiguaviva, Dr Oscar Campuzano Larrea

Tutors: Dr. Ramon Brugada TerradellasDr. Fabiana Sílvia ScornikDr. Guillermo Javier Pérez GonzálezDr. Marcel Vergés AiguavivaDr. Sara Pagans Lista, Dr. Oscar Campuzano Larrea

  • In-depth understanding of the role of genetics in cardiovascular disease, to improve diagnosis, prevention and therapies

7. Cork Laboratory

Potential doctoral thesis directors: Dr. Enriqueta Anticó Daró, Dr. Mercè Figueras Vall·llosera, Dr. Olga Serra Figueras

Tutors: Dr. Enriqueta Anticó DaróDr. Mercè Figueras Vall·lloseraDr. Olga Serra Figueras

  • Molecular biology of the process of cork formation in the cork oak
  • Reverse genetics of suberin: characterisation of candidate genes for potato periderm
  • Chemical and structural analyses of suberin.

8. Data analysis, Statistics applied to medicine and health

Researchers who are potential doctoral thesis supervisors: Dr. Marc Sáez Zafra, Dr. M. Antònia Barceló Rado, Dr. Germà Coenders Gallart, Dr. Carme Saurina Canals, Dr. Rafael Marcos Gragera, Dr. Gemma Renart Vicens Dr. M. Glòria Mateu Figueras, Dr. Josep Daunis Estadella

Tutors: Dr. Marc Sáez ZafraDr. M. Antònia Barceló RadoDr. Germà Coenders GallartDr. Gemma Renart VicensDr. M. Glòria Mateu FiguerasDr. Josep Daunis Estadella

  • Environmental and cancer epidemiology
  • Spacial Statistics and Epidemiology
  • Econometrics of health
  • Statistics, Econometrics and Quality of Survey Data
  • Statistical analysis of compositional data
  • Mathematical methods applied to medicine

9. Health and Health Care

Potential doctor thesis directors: Dr. Dolors Juvinyà Canal, Dr. Carme Bertran Noguer, Dr. Concepció Fuentes Pumarola, Dr. Maria Rosa Suñer Soler, Dr. Bernat Carles Serdà Ferrer, Dr. David Ballester Ferrando

Tutors:  Dr. Dolors Juvinyà CanalDr. Carme Bertran NoguerDr. Concepció Fuentes PumarolaDr. Maria Rosa Suñer SolerDr. Bernat Carles Serdà FerrerDr. David Ballester Ferrando

  • Promotion of health, Healthcare services
  • Old age, carers
  • Women, gender and health
  • Health emergencies
  • Well-being and quality of life
  • Comprehensive care of people with chronic injuries

10. Clinical Anatomy, Embryology and Neuroscience

Potential doctoral thesis supervisor researchers: Dr Enric Verdú Navarro, Dr Francisco Reina de la Torre, Dr Pere Boadas Vaello, Dr Ana Carrera Burgaya, Dr Anna Prats Puig Dr Maria Teresa Serrando Querol

Tutors: Dr. Enric Verdú Navarro,Dr. Francisco Reina de la Torre,Dr. Pere Boadas Vaello,Dr. Ana Carrera Burgaya

  • Clinical anatomy applied to research on medical and surgical and diagnostic procedures
  • Mathematical modelling patterns and three dimensional anatomical imaging
  • Morphological and ultra-structural and functional characterisation of acquired brain injury: cranioencephalic trauma and cerebrovascular injury
  • Description of macro and microscopic morphofunctional patterns of the nervous and vascular systems
  • Pathophysiology and pharmacological treatment of pathological pain
  • Pathophysiology and toxicology of the sensory and motor systems

11. Translational medicine and decision science research

Potential doctoral thesis supervisor researchers: Dr Xavier Castells Cervelló, Dr Alberto Zamora CervantesDr Carme Carrion Ribas 

Supervisor: Dr Xavier Castells Cervelló

  • Knowledge transfer for healthcare decision making at a micro, meso and macro level.
  • Evaluation of medical research and health results for healthcare decision making

12. Medical Sciences

Medical Sciences research line supervisors: Dr Antoni Codina CazadorDr Elisabeth Pinart Nadal, Dr Rafael S. Ramos BlanesDr Marc Yeste Oliveras

13. New therapeutic targets 

Potential doctoral-thesis research supervisors: Dr M. Teresa Puig Miquel, Dr Xavier Xifró Collsamata, Dr Joan M. Brunet Vidal, Dr Rut Porta Balanyà, Dr Lluís Ramió TorrentàDr Jordi Rubió Casadevall

Supervisors: Dr M. Teresa Puig MiquelDr Xavier Xifró Collsamata, Dr Lluís Ramió Torrentà

  • Pre-clinical and clinical study of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases to improve their diagnosis, prognosis, follow-up and therapy

14. Endocrinology and metabolism

Potential doctoral thesis research directors: Dr José Manuel Fernández-Real Lemos, Dr Abel López Bermejo, Dr Wifredo Ricart Engel, Dr Judit Bassols Casadevall, Dr José María Moreno Navarrete

Supervisors: Dr José Manuel Fernández-Real Lemos, Dr Abel López Bermejo

  • Inflammation and resistance to insulin
  • Child endocrinology
  • Iron metabolism and metabolic syndrome
  • Microbiota and metabolic illness

15. Physical activity, Sport, Physiotherapy and Health

Potential doctoral thesis research directors: Dr Anna Prats, Dr Daniel Romero, Dr B. Román

Supervisors: Dr Dolors Juvinyà Canal, Dr Enric Verdú Navarro

  • Physical activity and health
  • Care and global processes in physiotherapy


The Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health is governed by Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, which establishes the organisation of official doctoral degree programmes. The access requirements are those set out in this Royal Decree and which can be consulted at the following web address

Admission criteria

The Academic Committee will assess candidates who request admission and meet the access criteria to the doctoral programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health at the University of Girona on the basis of the following criteria listed in order of priority and showing the weighting of each item:

1. Cover letter (20%)

The letter must describe, very briefly, why the candidates want to access the doctoral programme. It must also include the following sections:

  1. Hypothesis and objectives of the research they intend to carry out, explaining what is new about it in the chosen field of research, to develop elect in the field of research
  2. Justification of the suitability chosen subject of research for the doctoral programme of Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health, as well as in one of the lines of research of the doctoral programme
  3. Tasks and/or studies which they intend to carry out to comply with the hypothesis and the proposed objectives

The cover letter, with all the information requested above, may not exceed two pages (1 sheet, both sides) with a minimum font size of 11 points.

The card of motivation will have to send in format word or pdf to the coordinator/to of the doctoral programme, through the platform of pre-enrolments of the School of Doctoral Studies of the UdG.

2. Curriculum vitae (15%)

Experience in research will be positively assessed.

3. Academic report and merits (50%)

The grade point average in the academic record and qualifications in similar subject areas to the doctoral programme will be taken into account.

4. Level of English (15%)

Verified knowledge of English will be positively assessed
To be accepted onto the Doctoral Programme, a letter of acceptance is also required from the potential doctoral thesis supervisor expressing their approval of the cover letter submitted.

The best candidates will be prioritised, particularly when the number of applications exceed the number of places available. All priorisations will be carried out once the second call of pre-enrolments finished.

Research Plan (Doctoral Thesis Project)

Once candidates are admitted to the doctoral programme and their enrolment authorised, their Research Plan (Doctoral Thesis Project) will have to be submitted, under the terms stated by the School of Doctoral Studies, and include the following sections:

  1. Provisional thesis title
  2. Hypothesis and preliminary objectives (max. ½ page),
  3. Theoretical basis of the research (if applicable and maximum 1 page),
  4. Antecedents and preliminary description of the research (max. 2 pages),
  5. Methodology (max. 3 pages),
  6. Risks (where expected; max. 1 page)
  7. Data-management plan (where necessary; max. 1 page)
  8. Thesis’ relationship with sustainable development goals (max. 1 page)
  9. Limitations and the most important approaches foreseen (if applicable, and maximum ½ page)
  10. Work plan with chronogram (max. 2 pages),
  11. Bibliography

The hypothesis and preliminary objectives will have to coincide with the ones stated in the cover letter and the novelty of this research to be carried out within the chosen field of research must be stated in this section.

The theoretical-base sections of the research, background and methodology must include bibliographical references which substantiate whatever is written in the various sections. The list of bibliographical citations included in these parts of the Research Plan must be put in the bibliographical section at the end of the document.

The work plan will have to include all the tasks that the doctoral student has to carry out to achieve their Research Plan’s hypothesis and objectives; these tasks must also match the ones stated in the cover letter.

All these tasks have to be put down in a Timeline which must not exceed the 3 years for researching and writing up the doctoral thesis (in the case of full-time theses), including the doctoral thesis’ revision, deposit and public-defence period. We suggest the Timeline is set out in table format.

NOTE: the Plan of Research (Project of Doctoral Thesis) is not shown in the moment of the pre-enrolment of the candidates in the doctoral programme, if not during the period authorised by this effect for the School of Doctoral Studies.

Training courses

Regarding educational activities, the School of Doctoral Studies organises courses, seminars and other cross-disciplinary educational activities (soft skills) directed at research training and assisting with the writing and presentation of the doctoral thesis. We ask that the courses be given in English as our language of choice, although Catalan is the language most frequently used. They are generally 10-hour courses or seminars. There are a series of activities that are transferable and are of interest to all doctoral programmes, and others that are specific to a particular doctoral programme

Educational course catalogue


In accordance with the teaching objectives of the Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health, the future doctoral degree holders will be ready to join research groups of recognised prestige and to undertake a leading role in these groups. Therefore, students who complete the doctoral programme will be able to work in public and private research centres and institutes and university research centres or hospitals, taking on functions such as:

  • Postdoctoral researcher
  • Project manager
  • Head of laboratory team
  • Coordinator of research team
  • Senior laboratory technician
  • Copyright manager
  • Head researcher of research projects
  • People responsible for innovation and transfer


You need to know

Doctoral student guide

Doctoral programme in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Health
Rating criteria for the doctoral degree special awards

The criteria for the doctoral degree special award for our programme have now been established. The scoring proposal is as follows:

In the scoring system, only the publications and activities derived from the doctoral thesis and obtained between when the student enrolled on the programme and the date the special award is applied for, will be taken into account.

  1. Publications derived from the thesis (up to 5 points): Publications in indexed journals in the first quartile of their category will receive the highest score, which will decrease proportionally depending on the quartile of the journal. Whether or not the doctoral student is the first signatory will also be taken into account.
  2. Patents or transfer activities (up to 1 point): All activities must stem from the doctoral thesis. The transfer activities can be dissemination publications, book chapters, guides, and so on.
  3. Contributions at conferences (up to 1.5 points): Attendance at international conferences will be especially highly valued.
  4. Research stays (up to 1 point): Stays longer than a month in other national or international research centres carried out during the doctoral thesis will be taken into account.
  5. International mention (up to 1 point)
  6. Other merits related to the thesis (up to 0.5 points): According to the criteria of the members of the panel.

Contents for a thesis in a compendium-of-publications format

Minimum two (2) original research articles published in magazines included in the Journal Citation Index (JCR) or in the Scimago Journal Rank (SJR), where the doctoral student is the first author and, at least, one of the articles is published in a magazine of the first quartile (Q1) of the area or subject of the doctoral thesis.

Short articles (Short roles) will also be counted provided they are in scientific magazines of the first decile or 10 percentile (D1/P10) published in the area or subject of the doctoral thesis included in JCR or SJR, with the doctoral student the first author in these publications.

Finally, besides these original articles and short articles one or more publications may also be included in review format (Review). Such review publications are no substitute for any of the original articles. The doctoral student must also be presented as the first author in these review publications. These review publications have to be in magazines included in JCR or SJR published, preferably in a magazine of the first quartile (Q1). 

The publication dates of these original articles, reviews or short articles must be after the start of the doctoral thesis and cannot contain any pre-thesis material.

Criteria for being doctoral-thesis supervisor in the Molecular Biology, Biomedicine and Healthcare doctoral programme.

The doctoral-thesis supervisor will be a doctor with one (1) living research premium or equivalent merits, and with accredited previous experience in doctoral-thesis supervision. They are considered equivalent merits if two (2) articles have published in first-quartile (Q1) magazines and three (3) articles in second-, third- or fourth-quartile (Q2, Q3, or Q4) magazines, of the JCR (Journal Citation Reports) index during the last 6 years.

Whoever meets these requirements will have to fill in an application for registering as a doctoral-thesis supervisor and attach their CV (in any format) explaining and accrediting the above-mentioned criteria. We recommend these CVs feature the quartiles of the publications and a list of doctoral theses they have already supervised. The theses in progress do not count as a previous experience of doctoral-thesis supervision. All these documents need to be emailed to the doctoral programme’s coordinator ( The coordinator will present all these documents at the first ordinary meeting of the doctoral programme’s Academic Committee, for approval.

Newly admitted students (pre-enrolled on the doctoral programme) are advised to propose doctoral-thesis supervisors who meet the above criteria.

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