Molecular Medicine is a new field that exploits advances in molecular and cellular biology to characterize how normal cellular processes either fail, or subvert in disease. Increasingly, medical practitioners, professionals, and researchers in the health and life sciences need to understand and evaluate advances in molecular medicine in order to keep abreast with developments in their fields.

The PhD in Molecular Medicine, which started in 2006, was established with the aim of offering advanced learning and practical training to:

  • Master holders in Medical Sciences planning an academic career in the area of Molecular Medicine;
  • Technicians with Ms.C. degree wishing to upgrade their expertise in specialised areas of Molecular Medicine;
  • Personnel engaged in the practice of Molecular Medicine, Genetics, and Inherited Disorders, including physicians, who wish to specialize in Molecular Medicine.

Programme Objectives

  • Get theoretical background on the fundamental principles vital to the understanding of molecules that are keys to normal functioning of the body and those related to the deep-seated mechanisms of diseases;
  • Conduct mission oriented research that is directed to resolving medical issues via in-depth  analysis and investigation rendering to molecular diagnosis;
  • Acquire various skills, among them mastering selected techniques for analysis, measurements and manipulation of these molecules to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, as well expressing scientific findings in oral and written forms producing quality research papers.

Areas of Specialization

The Programme offers specialties in the following areas: 

  • Molecular Genetics 
  • Biochemical Genetics 
  • Molecular Immunology

Methods of Learning

The programme is organised in a semester form where certain courses and research work should be accomplished. The programme deals with a highly specialised part of Medicine that explains the fundamental principles vital to an understanding of: 

  1. Molecules that are key to the normal functioning of the body and those related to the fundamental mechanisms of the diseases;
  2. Manipulation of these molecules to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases;
  3. Human genome and genetic engineering.

Principles are then applied to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease in:

  1. Gene regulated disorders
  2. Inherited genetic diseases
  3. Inborn errors of metabolism
  4. Infectious diseases
  5. Immune system and blood cells
  6. Cancer
  7. Public health

The technology utilised in the programme includes basic and advanced techniques in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Cell Biology, Cytogenetics, Imaging technology, and Experimental Models.

A PhD holder in Molecular Medicine will be able to:
  • Conduct scientific research investigating a problem in Molecular Medicine, Genetics, and Inherited Disorders, demonstrating his ability to use a sound scientific approach and competence in Molecular Medicine techniques and methods related to his field of research;
  • Write scientific papers, grant applications and work independently;
  • Teach and supervise undergraduate, graduate students and technical staff;
  • Gain administrative responsibilities, which will allow him to develop, supervise and organize a molecular lab.

Admission Requirements

Students must have a Master in Science prior to enrolment in the PhD programme.

Duration of the Programme 

The duration of the programme is 2 – 3 years during which the students study 48 credit-hours inclusive of a PhD thesis which is equivalent to 24 hours

Graduation Requirements

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work.
  • Carry out a laboratory-based research project, and submit and successfully defend a written thesis (24 credit hours).

Programme Outline

The curriculum is organised around 4 - 6 semesters (of 16 weeks duration each). The first semester consists of core courses, while the second semester is devoted to specialised courses. During each semester, the student organizes with the supervisor/s the required courses and the research work, which all spread over the semesters of the academic year. 
Topics for the thesis will be decided in consultation with the Director of the PhD programme taking into consideration the students’ interests and ongoing research activities. Thesis work can be partly performed by the student in his/her institution provided that a qualified supervisor is identified and technical facilities are available to carry out the planned experiments. Internal and external examiners evaluate the written dissertation and examine the student orally.
The PhD degree requirements include 24 credit hours of courses and a 24 credit hour thesis to be completed within 2 - 3 academic years (Total = 48 credit hours). 
The programme is implemented by a Director and decisions are made by an Academic Committee consisting of members representing the major specialties in the programme.

Course Description for the PhD in Molecular Medicine