The PhD in Neurobiology of the Universidad Mayor is a disciplinary academic program that seeks to train scientists with a comprehensive education and interested in studying the inherent complexity of the nervous system from its cellular and molecular determinants. Students in our program will address topics such as neurodevelopment, cellular and molecular neurobiology, neurodegeneration and neurodegeneration, aging of the nervous system, neuroimmunology and cognitive and motor neurophysiology.

Regular teachers of the program work on different models and levels of experimental analysis, providing an enriched environment in both thematic and complementary technologies to respond effectively and novelly in the area of ​​neurobiology. The biological models we work with include cell cultures, C. elegans, Drosophila, teleost fish (zebrafish and medaka) and mice. In addition, the inclusion of omic analyzes at the complete genome level allows the study of biological problems associated with the nervous system in health and disease, enriching the knowledge of this system at a more transversal level. Students of this program will also have the opportunity to interact closely with clinical research, which will favor the search for therapies and biomarkers associated with neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive impairment, thus connecting basic science and translational medicine. The program is formulated so that the student is incorporated early into the lines of research offered by the PhD so that, from the first semester of the curriculum, students begin with research units.

General Objective:

The PhD program in Neurobiology has as a general objective the training of researchers with a robust base in neurobiology, providing the necessary skills for graduates to integrate and apply these concepts through the development of original, independent and high impact researches that contribute to broadening the frontier of knowledge about the formation, function and pathological alterations of the nervous system

Specific Objectives:

- Train researchers capable of integrating and applying knowledge in neurobiology to identify the biological problems associated with the nervous system's function in health and disease.

- Train researchers prepared to design and develop research projects independently that contribute to the generation of basic-clinical knowledge in the area of ​​neurobiology with national and international projection.

- Train researchers who have the skills to integrate multidisciplinary research groups, and participate in the training of new researchers.

Graduation profile:

The graduated of the PhD program in Neurobiology will be able to:

- Identify problems and develop cutting-edge research in the area of ​​neurobiology, with national and international projection.

- Generate original knowledge, basic scientific and clinical advances in neurobiology independently.

- Integrate multidisciplinary collaborative research groups that allow addressing the challenges of current neurobiology from a synergistic perspective.

- Conduct research projects in the area of ​​neurobiology, actively participating in the training of new researchers.

Program Structure

The Sequential structure of the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology is as follows:

Year 1

1ft semester:

  • Concepts in Neurobiology I
  • Seminar in Advanced Topics in Biological Sciences I
  • Statistic and Experimental Design. Classes will be shared with the Doctoral program in Genomics and Bioinformatics.
  • Research Seminar I
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month)

2nd semester:

  • Concepts in Neurobiology II
  • Seminar in Advanced Topics in Biological Sciences II
  • Advanced Techiques in Neurobiology
  • Research Seminar II
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month) At the end of the first year, the student must select his/her Thesis advisor.

Year 2

3td semester:

  • Thesis Proposal Dissertation (FONDECYT format) and Oral Defense to the Thesis Committee.
  • Qualifying Examination.
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month)
  • Thesis starts.

4th semester:

  • Thesis.
  • Basics of Scientific Writing
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month)
  • Progress report for the commission: FONDECYT report format (written).
  • Workshop I. The Doctoral Program in Neurobiology contemplates two instances in which the student can learn about management and "soft skills". The general objective is to provide a comprehensive training to the student, providing skills that can strengthen their professional and personal quality of life. Importantly, these skills can have a huge impact on your scientific performance. They include the following topics: (1) Fundamentals in Technology Management and Transfer, (2) Presentation skills: Experiential course focused on improving presentation within an academic context for both internal seminars and external conferences. (3) Conflict resolution: Focused on developing practical skills to prevent, manage and resolve labor disputes. (4) Handling difficult conversations. (5) Relationship management: Establish and maintain effective working relationships - a cornerstone of success in academic settings. (6) Time management: A course that focuses on the three critical skills of time management: planning, prioritization and delegation.

Year 3

5th semester:

  • Thesis.
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars

6th semester:

  • Thesis.
  • Workshop II
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month).
  • Thesis Progress Report (wirtten document and oral presentation)

Year 4

7th semester:

  • Thesis.
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month).

8th semester:

  • Thesis.
  • Participation in CIB and CGB seminars (once a month).
  • Thesis Defense

Lines of investigation

Research Lines, Ph.D. Neurobiology Universidad Mayor

Nervous system development

Topics: neurogenesis and gliogenesis; visual system development; axonal growth; autism and pathologies associated with the development of the nervous system; Non-coding DNA and neurodevelopment.

Cellular and molecular neurobiology

Topics: intercellular communication; neuron-glial cell interaction; mitochondrial neuronal and glial metabolism; autophagy and reticulum stress in nervous system cells; ion channels

Degeneration and regeneration of the nervous system

Topics: axonal degeneration; neuronal death mechanisms; neuropathic pain; neurodegenerative diseases; systems biology in neurodegeneration; study of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and tumors of the nervous system.

Aging of the nervous system and neuroimmunology

Topics: gerocience; neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging; inflamging; glial and neuronal senescence; effect of the intestinal microbiome on brain function.

Neurophysiology of cognitive and motor functions

Topics: regulation of the locomotive function; memory and learning; motor diseases; interoceptive system; enteric nervous system; neural circuits.


Academic Cloister

Felipe Court .
Bachelor in Biology, PUC. PhD en Neurosciences, University of Edinburgo. Research Line: Degeneración axonal, regeneración axonal, comunicación.

René Vidal . Biochemical, Austral University of Chile. PhD in Sciences, mention Moleculal and Celular Biology, Austral University of Chile. Research Line: Neurodegenerative diseases, gene and pharmacological therapy, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease

Patricio Manque. Medical Technologist, University of Antofagasta. Phd in Microbiology and Inmunology, University of Sao Paulo. Research Line: Genomics, Interaction networks, Neurodegeneration, systems biology, microbiome, mesenchymal stem cell therapy.

Melissa Calegaro Nassif. Pharmaceutical Chemestry, UFRGS, Brasil. PhD in biomedical Sciences, Univeristy of Chile. Research Line: Autophagy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis of Alzheimer's disease, neurodegeneration.

Ute Woehlbier. M.Sc. (Dipl. Biol.), Molecular Biology, University of Heidelberg. Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.), Nature Sciences, University of Heidelberg. Research Line: Neurodegeneration, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cell death, mesenchymal stem cell therapy, new proteins in disease.

Leonardo Valdivia.Bachelor in Biology, University of Chile. PhD in Molecular and Celular Biology and Neuroscience, University of Chile. Reseach Line: Development of the visual system in zebra fish.

Julio César Cárdenas . Medical Technologist, University of Chile. PhD in Biomedical Sciences, University of Chile. Research Line: Mitochondrial metabolism, calcium signaling, cancer, cellular senescence.

Diego Rojas Rivera. Pharmaceutical Chemestry, University of Chile. PhD in Biochemestry, University of Chile. Research Line: Neuropharmacology, cell death, TNF signaling, RIPK1-dependent cell death.

Joaquín Letelier Undurraga. Bachelor in Science Mention Biology, University of Chile. PhD in Science mention Neurosciences, University of Valparaíso. Research Line: Embryonic development nervous system, transcriptional regulation mediated by non-coding DNA


Mario Sanhueza. Molecular Biotecnology Engineer, University of Chile. PhD in Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, United Kindom. Research Line: Neurodegeneration, Drosophila Model, Neural Regeneration.

External Guests:

  • Dr. Felipe Barros, CECS (Physician, studies of neuronal metabolism).

Director of the Program:

  • Dr. Rene Vidal

Academic Committee:

  • Dr. Rene Vidal
  • Dr. Macarena Arrazola
  • Dr. Diego Rojas Rivera
  • Dr. J Cesar Cardenas
  • Dr. Joaquin Letelier

Program Areas:

The PhD program in Neurobiology is the only one of its kind in Chile. He delivers solid knowledge in Neurobiology, using multi - models in his research projects, in order to enhance research on the nervous system in the challenge of developing its physiological and pathophysiological processes. The program has two workshops on transverse or soft skills (Workshop I and II), prioritizing the training of a comprehensive, ethical and capable scientific preofessioanl capable of contributing synergistically in multidisciplinary groups.


Dirigido a:

El Programa de Doctorado en Neurobiología está dirigido a profesionales con grado académico de Licenciado o Magíster en Biotecnología, Biología, Bioquímica, Tecnología Médica o formación equivalente.

Proceso de admisión:

El proceso de selección incluye:

  1. Evaluación de documentos académicos (30% de la calificación final)
  2. Discusión del artículo científico con los investigadores principales del CIB (30% de la calificación final)
  3. Entrevista con los investigadores principales del CIB (40% de grado final).

Los documentos académicos que se deben enviar a la dirección de correo electrónico mail Doctorado neuro hasta el 10 de noviembre son:

  • Certificado de Licenciatura o Maestría en Ciencias Biológicas, Biotecnología, Bioquímica, Tecnología Médica o un equivalente o superior profesional grado en el área de ciencias biológicas o médicas.
  • CV (de acuerdo con el formulario de solicitud)
  • Certificado de calificaciones de pregrado y clasificación.
  • Formulario de solicitud de la Universidad Mayor
  • 2 cartas de recomendación en el formato de la Universidad Mayor, enviada directamente a la dirección de correo electrónico mail Doctorado neuro.


Los candidatos seleccionados recibirán una beca que cubre el arancel de programa y una beca de mantención mensual de la U. Mayor por un periodo 4 años. Después de la aprobación del proyecto de tesis, los candidatos a doctor pueden solicitar becas de viaje designadas para la capacitación en otros laboratorios de investigación chilenos o extranjeros.

  • Nº Máximo de Vacantes: 04
  • Postulaciones: hasta el 10 de Noviembre de 2021.
  • Admisión: Noviembre 2021.
  • Resolución: 30 de Diciembre de 2021.
  • Inicio de actividades: Marzo de 2022.

Si desea postular, por favor descargue los siguientes formularios

Descargar Formulario de Postulación - Descargar Carta de Recomendación

Para más información o consultas, por favor escriba a:

Ph.D. Program Director:

Melissa Calegaro, Ph.D.

mail Doctorado neuro