Who we are

Molecules of Life is jointly supported by the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna.


The mission of the Vienna Doctoral School “Molecules of Life” is to promote interdisciplinary research and help excellent PhD students to develop into tomorrow's leading scientists.

Molecular Life Sciences are undergoing major dynamic changes driven by technological development. Today, analyzing and editing genomes, proteomes and metabolomes has become a standard for many model systems; imaging beyond the diffraction limit of light and new technologies for studying protein structures provide insights deeper than ever before; the characterization of large populations of cells or organisms brings unprecedented statistical power; and studying nearly all organisms of an ecosystems as a whole allows generating comprehensive models.

Each technological leap opens a new door for curiosity-driven science. However, single discipline-science, let alone individual scientists, cannot realize to the full the tremendous opportunities for discovery offered by these recent developments. Modern Molecular Life Sciences demand interdisciplinary networks of well-connected, well-educated scientists with a broad understanding of cutting-edge technologies beyond their own field of expertise.

The Vienna Doctoral School “Molecules of Life” fosters education, cooperation and interaction among students and group leaders from different backgrounds and disciplines in an open and creative environment. By promoting the exchange of ideas and inspiring insights from unexpected perspectives as well as the introduction of novel technologies, “Molecules of Life” provides ambitious and motivated students with the training and opportunities they need to become the new leaders in Molecular Life Sciences.

Filmed by: Department of Media Technologies and Outreach, MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
Edited by: Marlene Hausleitner, MFPL

Video: A science-communication film by Nadezda Sedlyarova, Andrés Magán Garcia and Natascha Hartl (University of Vienna), highlighting the importance of basic research in bacteria. A WTZ Ost production (2017) in cooperation with Okto Community TV supported by Austria Wirtschaftsservice and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy. 

Video: A film by Amelie Schoenenwald and Chiara Masnovo (University of Vienna). A WTZ Ost production (2017) in cooperation with Okto Community TV supported by Austria Wirtschaftsservice and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.

Video: A film by Iva Lučić (Leonard Group) and Masha Zorić. Iva describes her award winning PhD thesis "Role of membrane binding in the activation of Protein Kinase B (PKB) and Protein Kinase C (PKC)”


The scientists of „Molecules of Life“ have the common aim of unraveling basic concepts of life at the molecular level.

We want to understand:

  • Molecular structures down to the atomic level
  • How molecules interact to generate complex biological responses
  • The complexity of biological responses of entire cells and organisms
  • How deregulation of biological processes leads to diseases
  • The evolution of organisms and the ecology of microbial communities at the molecular level
  • How to analyze and interpret the large datasets produced by state-of-the-art technologies in all subject areas in Molecular Life Sciences