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The Chronobiology course is a multidisciplinary pedagogical offer.
This formation unit intends to provide students the opportunity to know several domains of Chronobiology, the science that studies biological rhythms, and to apply these concepts to their own knowledge area, from life and health sciences to social and human sciences.

Chronological time, which is the result of Earth rotation around its own axis, has a well known impact on life, health and performance. Although time rules our everyday life, it is true that the individual desrepects time and biological rhythms with important health and social consequences.
Chronobiology studies the relationship between chronological and biological time as well as the consequences of their desynchronization. Mental health, sleep, reproduction, development and metabolism are among the affect body functions.
Biological rhythms are endogenously produced by a feedback loop of trasncription and translation in which transcription factors Clock (circadian locomotor output cycles kaput) and Bmal1 (brain and muscle aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ANRT)-like protein 1) induce the transcritption of central clock genes such as Period and Chryptochrome, which inhibit their own transcription. This generates a cyclic self-sustained 24-h rhythm of gene expression which regulates the expression of target genes in peripheral tissues. This ensures the transmission of rhythms from the central clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei to a myrirad of biological functions such as metabolism.
Light, physical activity, social activity and nutrition are environmental inputs (zeitgebers) that synchronize biological and chronological time, while confering selective advantage.
Chronobiology concept relies on several dimensions of the human being: social, mental, physiological and molecular.
The perception of Chronobiology is requeired for the comprehension of the global health status of an individual and as such for medical practice from diagnosis to therapeutical interventions.

Pedagogical approaches:
Theoretical lectures and journal clubs. Theoretical lectures will focus on the exposure of each sepcific theme and they are expected to be interactive, raising time discussion spaces.

For selected themes, scientific papers will be presented as Jurnal Clubs for discussion among the group of students.


To understand how circadian rhythms affect daily life and biology, from the genome to the complex behaviour of the individual; To appreciate and value the role of Chronobiology on either physiologic and pathologic conditions; to understand the relationship between circadian rhythms and therapy

Professional Abilities

At the end of the formation unit, the students are expected to have acquired knowledge and skills that enable them to:
1) understand the concept of Chronobiology
2) identify the way by which circadian rhythms affect life from the genome to the complex behaviour of the individual
3) acknowledge the role of Chronobiology and chronodisruption on several physiopathological events
4) acknowledge the input of the synchronizers on homeostasis
5) characterize the biological relevance of several chronotypes
6) acknowledge the relevance of circadian rhythms on therapeutic interventions
7) acknowledge the importance of scientific research on Chronobiology
8) To interpret study designs and scientific parameters related to Chronobiology.


Vacancies: max: 15/ min: 4

Target population: 2nd and 3rd cycle students from U.Porto, researchers, lecturers, technicians from life and health sciences or from social and human sciences when their focus is related with Chronobiology.

Specific access conditions:
Medical doctors, Biochemists, Biologists, Bioengineering, Pharmacy, Nutrition and related areas.
Graduated in Psychology, Education Sciences or related areas.

Criteria for selecting and ranking candidates:

Whenever applications exceed vacancies, candidates will be ranked according to:
  • specific formation field (according to above described areas)
  • classification obtained in previous degrees (BSc or integrated Masters) with following weightings: 20 values - 80%; 19 values - 75%; 18 values - 70%; 17 values - 65%; 16 values - 60%; 15 values - 55%; 14 values- 50%; 13 values- 45%; 12 values- 40%; 11 values- 35%; 10 values- 30%;
  • Academic qualifications, with the following weightings: PhD - 20%; Master - 10%; Degree - 5%
The tiebreaker will be: average course (Degree or Integrated Master) (absolute value).

Online applications: 10.01 to 11.02.2022

Deadline for posting provisional results: 16.02.2022

Notification to applicants: by email to the email address indicated in the application.


Núcleo de Ensino Pós-Graduado
Educação Continua - Cursos não conferentes de grau
Tel.: 220426975
e-mail: posgraduacao@med.up.pt

Informações e contactos

General information

Teacher Responsible: Elisa Keating
Acronym: CB
Type of course/cycle of study: Continuing Training Unit
Start: 2018/2019
Duration: 40,5 Hour

Study Plan


  • Chronobiology (1,5 ECTS credits)

Predominant Scientific Areas

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