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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.

BiotechHealth has an External Advisory Board, composed by internationaly renowned experts:
África González Fernández (more info)
Andrés J. García (more info)
Joerg Vienken



The BiotechHealth Programme aims to provide excellence in doctoral training in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology applied to Health Sciences, in an interdisciplinary and international environment, fostering collaboration with internationally recognized research groups, hospitals and companies, both from Portugal and other countries.

The programme combines cellular and molecular biotechnologies which are crucial in clinical and industrial applications. Molecular Biotechnology (or Molecular Bioengineering) is a new interdisciplinary field, which combines several disciplines, including (Micro)Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Materials Science, Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bioinformatics and Nanotechnology.

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.

Among other requirements, the inclusion of at least 1 (one) original article (full length paper) published or accepted for publication in an indexed international journal (SCI), whose 1st author is a doctoral student



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International student

*International student, find all the answers you need to study at the University of Porto, at the following links: 



1st Phase

2st Phase

3nd Phase

Applications submission

03-04-2023 to

28-08-2023 to

03-11-2023 to

Display of the provisional results




Previous hearing

27-06-2023 to

06-10-2023 to

22-11-2023 to

Display of the final results




Applicants complaints submission

12-07-2023 to

23-10-2023 to

11-12-2023 to

Publication of the complaints decision





12-07-2023 to

23-10-2023 to

11-12-2023 to

Potential substitutes placement

19-07-2023 to

30-10-2023 to

18-12-2023 to

Publication of the remainders vacancies to the next phase




Tuition fees 2023/2024

Minimum number of students for the cycle of studies to operate – 5

Start of the academic year: 2 january 2024

Normal duration of the course: 4 years (8 semesters)



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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