Doctorate programmes at the "Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering" at TU Dresden
The "Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering" (DIGS-BB) at TU Dresden has been awarded funding under the German government's Excellence Initiative. It was thus the only proposed graduate school in the Eastern German Länder to prevail after the first round of the Excellence Initiative.
The aim of this graduate school is to train the international cream among graduates in the fields of cell biology, biomedicine, biophysics and bioengineering here at TU Dresden and to accompany them through to their doctoral degree. Up to 300 graduate students can look forward to an innovative curriculum, new forms of support and supervision, and internationally recognised qualifications.
Building upon the most extensive international graduate study programme in Germany (the "Dresden International Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering" managed jointly by TU Dresden and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics), three new international PhD programmes are to be offered in molecular cell and developmental biology, in regenerative medicine and in nanobiotechnology, biophysics and bioengineering. The graduate school differs from traditional graduate study programmes above all in the following points:
In this way, it is hoped that the results of basic research in the field of biomedicine, to take one example, can be translated without delay into clinical applications. Separately passed Doctorate Regulations guarantee an optimum framework of conditions for the interdisciplinary training of international graduates with backgrounds in the natural sciences, medicine or engineering in all three programmes, and contribute to the international competitiveness of the graduate school.
One trend in all spheres of the expanding life sciences is interdisciplinary cooperation. At the interfaces between cell biology, biophysics and bioengineering, in particular, interactive research continually evolves new means with which to observe specific molecular, cellular and organic complex processes. The DIGS-BB seeks to advance this development. It acts as the interdisciplinary link between the various approaches of otherwise independent disciplines and their traditional forms of doctoral study. The fundamental knowledge in the individual sciences can thus be interwoven with clinical research and bioengineering.
In the field of molecular cell and developmental biology, the students are offered diverse avenues of research on a multitude of experimental model systems, such as mice or yeast. Investigations include, for example, the properties of membranes and other molecular constituents of cells, the interactions of different molecules in individual cells and in tissues, and the development of stem cells.
The international PhD programme "Regenerative Medicine", which is associated closely with the Dresden Centre for Regenerative Therapies, addresses studies of the molecular and cellular basis for cell and tissue regeneration. The knowledge gained is to be translated into clinical application as rapidly as possible. Specific goals are the elaboration of regenerative therapies for neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases, the exploration of stem cells with the aid of model organisms, and the deciphering of disease-relevant intra- and intercellular communication processes. Studies of mice will play a central role at the pre-clinical stages. Joint activities are also planned with the renowned Harvard Medical International programme.
Interdisciplinary research in nanobiotechnology, biophysics and bioengineering brings scientists from biology, chemistry, physics and engineering together with their counterparts in the nanosciences. Examples are research into the dynamic behaviour of individual molecules in living cells, the structure and functioning of biomolecular motors, and the creation and application of biomaterials. Regenerative medicine and molecular bioengineering represent one of the five key profiles of TU Dresden. The funding awarded to the DIGS-BB by the DFG within the framework of the Excellence Initiative honours the university's successes in these fields. To help develop the graduate school into an internationally recognised centre of excellence in doctoral study, the DFG is providing annual funding of € 1 million over the next five years.
Professor Gerhard Rödel