Your PhD

Our PhD Program „Integrative Structural Biology” is an international and interdisciplinary program, that trains PhD Students in the central themes of integrative structural biology.

The training program comprises of practical (laboratory) and theoretical training. The research projects  introduce the students to hypothesis driven research and encourage them to find solutions to solve their particular biological question. In addition to their supervisor, students are guided by a PhD committee made up of scientists from both inside and outside of the graduate program. Students are encouraged to talk on ad hoc basis to faculty members and to discuss their projects with each other. Progress reports to the faculty and students of the graduate program facilitate this endeavour.

Courses include introductory practicals on the basics of protein expression, purification, characterization as well as high-end instruction in the techniques of structural analysis and molecular imaging. Lectures support those students whose MSc courses did not cover all of the topics required to carry out graduate studies in structural biology and introduce the students to the advanced theory behind the techniques. Students are schooled in writing papers and grants as well as presentation techniques. Courses on patenting, project management and career planning round off the education of the students in the soft skills area.

The environment of the Vienna Biocenter provides the students with the opportunity to widen their perspective on science and discover new topics that are amenable to investigation by structural biological techniques.

Students of the program are welcome to use the services of the Protein Technologies Facility (ProTech) and other supporting facilities on the campus. The mission of this facility is to further research in molecular and cell biology, protein biochemistry, and structural biology by overcoming major bottlenecks in these fields. Its services include molecular cloning, protein production and purification, and biophysical characterization of proteins.

Amelie Schoenenwald, a PhD-student of “Integrative Structural Biology” (Tim Skern Lab) talking about her project:

Karin Olek, a PhD-student of “Integrative Structural Biology” (Tim Skern Lab) talking about her project:

Karin Olek is investigating the mechanism and structure of the 2A protease of B rhinoviruses. These can cause respiratory diseases in humans. The 2A protease of the virus cuts certain host proteins and thereby disturbs important processes in cells. Better understanding of the 2A protease can help develop therapies against rhinoviruses.