Social demand for specialists in cell biology is not only concerned with improving knowledge of the cell mechanisms that influence the development and maintenance of the life of superior organisms (mammals – especially humans) but it also aimed at the translational application of this basic knowledge for resolving or minimising tissue, cell, cytogenic and genetic pathologies in both somatic and germinal cells.

Growing clinical demand for cell and/or genetic treatments has generated the need for fully prepared professionals with excellent theoretical knowledge of the discipline and a high level of practical specialisation of essential application in research and clinical environments.

For all of these reasons there is a growing need and interest in the establishment of a specialised academic approach which looks in detail at basic cell biology and encourages positive feedback between research and teaching with the overall aim of promoting the transfer of knowledge and technology to society.

The main objective of the PhD programme in Cell Biology is to offer a broad, in-depth approach to the different areas and disciplines involved, including the classic basic elements and also the most recent breakthroughs. Training specialist PhD researchers in the different disciplines of cell biology is therefore essential for meetings the current, growing needs of society.

Candidate profile

The PhD in Cell Biology is addressed to students with a master's degree in bioscience. The ideal student profile is that of someone with keen powers of analysis and a pro-active, determined attitude, who has completed the research-oriented version of the Master's Degree in Cytogenetics and Reproductive Biology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Access is also open to students with a research-oriented official master's degree or equivalent in the field of bioscience, with a study period similar to that of this PhD programme. In this case any specific previous studies in cell biology will be an advantage.

Professional opportunities

Students who obtain their PhD on this programme can pursue a scientific, academic or professional career, joining research centres, universities, hospitals or scientific research and development companies, both national and international.

They can work in various areas of bioscience: cell biology, molecular biology, biomedicine, human and animal reproductive biology, clinical embryology, genetics of reproduction, genetics of cancer, clinical cytogenetics, evolutionary cytogenetics, or radiobiology, among others.

Objectives and justification

The main objective of this PhD programme is to prepare students for undertaking complex, original and innovative research.

In aiming to train future researchers there is special emphasis on learning diverse methodologies and techniques that can be used in the preparation of the doctoral thesis.

This PhD programme also aims to consolidate the diversity of focuses and approaches to maintain a balance between basic and applied research. This means that it is possible to produce quality PhD researchers in an intellectually rich and critical environment.

The research concludes with the writing of a doctoral thesis within an established time period. In parallel candidates are expected to have published work in international journals indexed in the JCR, with the appropriate dissemination of results.

The objective is therefore to produce researchers who area able to undertake high quality research within the framework of the PhD programme and who are capable of leading competitive lines of research in the future.


Josep Santaló Pedro

Composition of the academic tribunal for the PhD programme

The academic committee of the Cell Biology doctoral program is made up of the programme coordinator, Dr. Josep Santaló, and the professors responsible for the lines of research:

  • Dr. Josep Santaló
  • Dr. Carme Nogués
  • Dr. Ignasi Roig
  • Dr. Aurora Ruiz-Herrera
  • Dr. Joan Blanco
  • Dr. Elena Ibañez
  • Dr. Anna Genescà
  • Dr. Vicenç Català
  • Dr. Zaida Sarrate
  • Dr. Javier del Rey
  • Dr. M. Àngels Rigola
  • Dr. Ester Anton

The academic committee is chaired by the coordinator of the PhD programme and has an academic secretary, who appoints the committee from among its members.



Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology
(Building M) Faculty of Medicine. UAB
08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola). Barcelona
Phone 00 34 93 581 18 39


Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
English, Spanish and Catalan
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology

Collaborating institutions:


  • Nuclear Safety Council
  • Computer Vision Center
  • Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES)
  • Barcelona Zoo


  • IVI Valencia
  • Fecunmed
  • Clínica Girona
  • Consultoria Dexeus SAP
  • Centre for Embryo Medicine
  • Clínica EUGIN

Need more information? Contact the programme manager filling in this form: *Required fields

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