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Studium Biologie Masterstudium

Molecular and Cellular Biology

MSc Coordinators of the Master in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Prof. Dr. Francesca Peri (francesca.peri *

Prof. Dr. Darren Gilmour (darren.gilmour *

Study Coordinator

Dr. Karin Isler (studienkoordination *



The fundamental processes of life take place at the level of cells with major contributions by nucleic acids and proteins. The MSc degree focus on "Molecular and Cellular Biology" sets out to enable students to understand how processes in cells are controlled by regulated gene activity, starting at the level of DNA down to protein networks and their interactions with other cellular components (lipid membranes, metabolites). Molecular and Cellular Biology has close links with biochemistry, molecular genetics and developmental biology.
Students gain insight into a wide range of methods and biological issues in a number of block courses in Molecular and Cellular Biology, including gene expression, signal transduction and cancer. They can combine these modules with courses chosen according to the subject of their Master's thesis.



A Learning Agreement has to be worked out at the start of the MSc (see Learning Agreement - instructions to students (PDF, 143 KB)).

  60 ECTS Master´s thesis BIO 501 (for a list of some potential research groups see below)
  10 ECTS Integrated Knowledge in Biology BIO 520
  00 ECTS Introduction to Scientific Writing BIO 338 (one day in September or February). 
  20 ECTS

Course work:

15 ECTS from the list below  + 05 ECTS free choice (entire course offer at UZH and ETHZ); these courses can be from within the field of Molecular and Cellular Biology, but they do not have to be.

Compulsory modules:

15 ECTS of courses must be taken from this list:

BCH 252 03 ECTS RNA and Proteins: Post-Transcript. Regulation of Gene Expression
BCH 308 06 ECTS Experimentelle Biochemie
BIO 244 06 ECTS Signal Transduction and Cancer
BIO 245 06 ECTS Cell Signalling
BIO 246 06 ECTS Genome Instability and Molecular Cancer Research
BIO 255 06 ECTS Finding and solving interesting problems in Molecular Life Sciences
BIO 260 06 ECTS Molecular Biology Course for Biology and Medicine
BIO 282 06 ECTS Methods in Molecular Plant Biology
BIO 286 06 ECTS Plant Sensing
BIO 317 06 ECTS Advanced Methods in Genomic and Cellular Manipulation
BIO 321 06 ECTS Modern Microscopy in Life Science Research
BIO 322 06 ECTS Cell Biology of Viral Infections
BIO 323 12 ECTS Modern Genetics und Genomics
BIO 325 06 ECTS Systems Dynamics in Cell and Developmental Biology
BIO 347 03 ECTS Concepts in Developmental Biology: from Cells to Animals
BIO 348 06 ECTS Concepts of Modern Genetics
BIO 407 06 ECTS Practical Microscopy
BIO 413 06 ECTS Genome Modification in Mammals
BIO 431 06 ECTS Cell Death, Inflammation and Immunity
BIO 446 06 ECTS Applied RNA Methodology
BME 312 06 ECTS Epigenetics and Disease

Recommended elective modules in the basic studies:
CHE 154, CHE 155, BCH 202, BCH 215, BIO 390, PHY 127, MAT 141, STA 120.

Master's thesis in Molecular and Cellular Biology: Module BIO 501.

Instructions for MSc thesis structure and final exam BIO520 (PDF, 341 KB)


In the Master's program in Molecular Cell Biology, you must conduct your thesis project in a lab approved by the program (see list). To be included on the list, the group leader should contact the Master coordinators (Francesca Peri or Darren Gilmour) well in advance. Research projects must have a clear focus on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms, the PI must be substantially involved in teaching in our program, and there should be no other more appropriate Masters program or concentration for the planned projects.

Prof. Dr.  Bachmann-Gagescu
PD Dr. Baroux Célia
Prof. Dr. Basler Konrad
Prof. Dr. Baumgartner Martin
Prof. Dr. Bischof Sylvain
Prof. Dr. Brunner Damian
Prof. Dr. Cavazza Tommaso
Prof. Dr. Gilmour Darren
Prof. Dr. Greber Urs
Prof. Dr. Grossniklaus Ueli
Prof. Dr. Hajnal Alex
PD Dr. Janscak Pavel
Prof. Dr. Lienkamp Soeren
Prof. Dr. Lopes Massimo
Prof. Dr. Müller Anne
Prof. Dr. Müller Martin
Prof. Dr.  Pelkmans Lucas
Prof. Dr. Peri Francesca
Prof. Dr. Polymenidou Magdalini
Prof. Dr. Santoro Raffaella
Prof. Dr. Sartori Alessandro
Prof. Dr. Sigel Roland
Prof. Dr. Simonini Sara
Prof. Dr. Von Mering Christian
Prof. Dr. Zipfel Cyril


Weiterführende Informationen

UZH Course Catalogue


The module BIO338 Introduction to Scientific Writing (0 ECTS, one day in September or February) is mandatory for all Biology Master’s students. The module should be taken before writing the Master’s Thesis.


For interested BSc students

Recommended core elective modules during your Bachelor's degree program if you plan to take the Master's degree course in "Molecular and Cellular Biology":

CHE 153, CHE 154, CHE 155, BCH 202, BCH 205, BCH215, BIO390, PHY 127, MAT 141, STA 120