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Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology Applied to Health Sciences

InformationCourse/CS accredited by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES).
The International Doctoral Program in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology applied to Health Sciences (BiotechHealth) is jointly organized by:
- Two Schools of the University of Porto (U: Porto) - the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS UP) and the Faculty of Pharmacy;
- Two Research Centers - The Institute of Health Research and Innovation of the University of Porto (i3S) and the Chemistry and Technology Network (REQUIMTE);
- A Hospital - The Porto University Hospital Center (CHP)
More than twenty institutions, mostly international, including universities, research institutes and companies, are also associated with BiotechHealth.
This program offers training in molecular biotechnology applied to the health sciences, namely in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, tissue regeneration, cellular and nanomedicine therapies, and microbial biotechnology, in a truly interdisciplinary and international environment.
The program is designed to allow students to focus their learning on a research environment and on conducting experimental work.
One of the distinctive elements of the program is the acquisition of transversal skills that reinforce students' autonomy and the ability to insert themselves after the doctorate in academic or business environments. These skills are acquired throughout the program according to the student's need. In addition, the student has the possibility to attend advanced training actions chosen by himself/herself and allowing a constant updating of knowledge. Participation in conferences, seminars and other scientific meetings is strongly encouraged and valued.
The teaching component is intended to provide students with the opportunity to acquire transversal skills, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, entrepreneurship, ethics, scientific writing, grant writing and communication. These skills can be acquired either through courses offered by BiotechHealth or by national and foreign research institutions. In this case, recognition of the merit of the training by the BiotechHealth Scientific Commission is required.
An essential component of the program is collaboration with leading international research groups and companies. Students must spend a minimum of 6 months in a foreign institution (research laboratory, hospital or industry).
The BiotechHealth Program accepts up to 15 students per year based on rigorous assessment. Candidates must have as a minimum condition for application the degree of Master and academic background in at least one of the following areas: bioengineering, biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences, biology, medicine, biochemistry, nanomedicine, chemistry.
In order to help students in fulfilling their objectives, a PhD Advisory Committee (PAC) is constituted for each student for regular discussion on the progress of the work. The PAC is be proposed by the student and the supervisor to the BiotechHealth Scientific Commission. The PAC should include the supervisor, co-supervisor (if applicable) and up to two other investigators not directly involved in the research work. The PAC meets at the request of the student. It is recommended that the PAC meets the student at least once a year. The scientific information exchanged during the meetings is kept confidential.


The doctoral program aims to provide advanced training in Molecular and Cellular Biology applied to Health Sciences, as well as to endow the students with transversal skills in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, ethics, writing and scientific communication and project development. In the teaching component, students benefit from formative flexibility, allowing them to adapt to each individual's PhD project. Students must spend a minimum of 6 months in an international institution (laboratory, hospital or industry), outside Portugal.

Fields of Specialization

The programme will have a special focus on the scientific areas listed below. Interdisciplinary projects, involving two or more areas will be strongly encouraged.

- Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapies
Nanodiagnostics and Nanotherapeutics
- Molecular and Cellular Biophysics and Computational Design of Biomolecules
- Microbial Biotechnology

Professional Abilities

BiotechHealth PhDs will have state-of-the-art scientific expertise in the specific area of their thesis. They will also have skills in entrepreneurship, scientific management and grant writing, intellectual property and communication.

Employment Prospects

BiotechHealth assures high-quality training to those aiming at a professional career in academic or industrial environment, facilitating the access to international research networks or health-oriented biotech companies.


Additional information

Estudante Internacional:

Estudantes abrangidos pelo Estatuto de Estudante Internacional *(Aprovado pelo Decreto-Lei 62/2018 de 06 de agosto).

* Estudante Internacional, encontra todas as respostas de que precisa para estudar na Universidade do Porto, no link: https://sigarra.up.pt/up/pt/web_base.gera_pagina?p_pagina=gateway-estudantes-internacionai

Regulations for the Application of the International Student Statute of the University of Porto:
Special Contests for Admission to Higher Education

General regulations for study cycles



For any query regarding the application process please contact:
Helena Cristina Martins
Post- Graduation Office



10h:00 - 12h:00
14h:00 - 15h:30

General information

Official Code: 5881
Director: Manuel Vilanova
Co-Director: Salette Reis
Acronym: BioTec
Academic Degree: Doctor
Type of course/cycle of study: Doctoral Degree
Start: 2013/2014
Duration: 8 Semesters

Study Plan

Involved Organic Units


  • Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology Applied to Health Sciences (240 ECTS credits)
  • Curso de doutoramento em Biotecnologia Molecular e Celular (60 ECTS credits)

Predominant Scientific Areas

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