1. The Program

     

    The objective of the Post-graduate program in Molecular Biology (Masters and Doctorate degrees) is to train scientifically competent and independent professionals in molecular biology and applied areas that include: Biochemistry, Biophysics, Microbiology, Immunology, Cell Biology, Virology, Genetics, Genomics and Proteomics.

     

    The nucleus of the program is focused on nine investigation areas, integrating laboratory groups developing cutting edge research. During the last decade, outstanding research in collaborative proteomic, genomic, post-genomic and Biotechnology networks has been conducted in initiatives supported by the CNPq funding agency. Similar support for research has also been obtained from the National Science and Technology Institutes (INCT), regional networks such as the Amazonia Legal genomics network, as well as from international agencies for collaborative research projects with groups from centres for excellence from numerous countries. Many local research projects have received funding from funding bodies such as CNPq, CAPES, FINEP, BNDES, FAP-DF, TWAS, BID etc.

     

    The Post-graduate program in Molecular Biology is a consolidated program rated at level 6 by CAPES. The infrastructure of shared-access equipment is considerable, and includes automated DNA and protein sequencers, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, confocal microscopes, flow cytometers, mass spectrometers, HPLCs, ultracentrifuges, fermenters, real-time thermocyclers, and phospho-imager systems. A platform for high throughput next-generation sequencing, installed in the Distrito Federal, also attends local demand from groups within the program that work on genomics across diverse biological models.

     

    Since the initiation of the Doctorate program in 1992, a total of 246 theses have been successfully defended, covering subjects of direct relevance to the productive sector, academic environment, as well as to pure and applied research in molecular biology and biotechnology. The high numbers of students receiving the title of Doctor over this short time period reflects well in terms of the parameters utilized by CAPES in its evaluation of post-graduate programs. The majority of students subsequently secure employment at Federal and private institutions for higher education, at research centres such as Embrapa and Fiocruz, at public institutions such as the civil police and hospital labs, at regulatory and funding agencies such as Anvisa, Ministries, CNPq and CAPES, as well as at institutions overseas, thus guaranteeing a considerable return on the investment in education directly to relevant areas of society.


    Research areas

     

    Genetic engineering for the development of micro-organisms, plants and products of biotechnological potential

    Development of vectors for heterologous expression in bacteria and           yeasts for production of polypeptides (hormones), enzymes and biofuels

     

    Computational simulations and theoretical analysis of biomolecules

    Structural analysis by computational simulation of biomolecules in vacuum and/or with explicit-solvent

     

    Molecular genetics of plants

    Application of molecular genetics to crop improvement, with emphasis on genetics of resistance to diseases, plant/pathogen interaction

     

    Genomics and bioinformatics

    Development of methods for analysis of sequences and genomes. Applied bioinformatics, genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics. Focus on genomics of fungi, bacteria and plants; transcriptomics of higher eukaryotes

     

    Host/parasite interaction

    Study of the interaction between bacteria, fungi, protozoans and other organisms with the host cell. Emphasis on genetic reprograming, signal transduction and the molecular basis of processes involved

     

    Biochemistry of free radicals and antioxidants

    Identification of organic compounds able to link to free radicals, protecting the cell from oxidative stress

     

    Molecular biology and cellular differentiation in fungi

    Molecular mechanisms involved in the processes of signal transduction that promote the differentiation of pathogenic fungi

     

    Cell and molecular biology of viruses

    Study of the interaction of viruses of insects and plants with their hosts at the cellular and molecular level. Characterization, development of methods for detection and investigation of mechanisms of resistance in plant, insect and human viruses

     

    Structure / function analysis in peptides and proteins

    Determination of the structure of proteins and peptides and co-relation to biological function

     

     

    Laboratories

     

    Molecular Biophysics

    Theoretical Biophysics

    Molecular Biology

    Protein Biochemistry and Chemistry

    Enzymology

    Cellular Immunology

    Microbiology

    Biology of the Gene

    Electron Microscopy

    Virology