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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment
Header image Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment

Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment

How can we make use of the immune system in order to target cancer? How does early life nutrition impact metabolic health in adulthood? How can microorganisms help fight against infectious diseases?

Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment is a research oriented selective two-year master programme. During this programme research-minded students are trained to become the next generation of successful scientists in academia and private section environments. Students will be challenged with exciting cutting-edge research and methodologies and will learn how to critically read the literature, design novel research questions, translate hypotheses into testable research plans, and how to communicate research.

As a student you can focus on your interests and ambitions by participating in one of the following specializations after the first semester:

  • Oncology
  • Neuroscience
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Systems Medicine
  • Drug Innovation

This selective Master's degree programme is designed for students primarily aiming for a career as a scientist in academia and private sector environments. Students are trained to become critical academic thinkers, problem solvers and discoverers. If this appeals to you, this master programme is the right choice for you!

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60617
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Medical Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?

If you choose to study MMIT at the University of Groningen, this is what you can expect:

  • small international student cohort with a maximum of 35 students
  • a challenging multidisciplinary and intercultural approach to problem solving
  • participate in a specialization of your choice
  • teaching by top-researchers
  • strong focus on and guidance in personal and professional development
  • two major (international) research internships
  • possibility of obtaining a fully funded three-year PhD position
  • possibility of a partial scholarship for non-EU/EEA students (more info under 'Entry requirements')
Programme

To get an impression of the courses offered, go to https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showPos?opleiding=5147

CoursesCourse Catalog >
Experimental techniques in research (9 EC)
Extension Research Project I or Elective course (5 EC)
Fit for Practice (3 EC)
Introduction to Research Project I (2 EC)
Mechanisms of disease and innovative therapies (11 EC)
Research Project I (30 EC)

To get an impression of the courses offered, go to https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showPos?opleiding=5147

CoursesCourse Catalog >
Design of research projects (5 EC)
Elective courses (10 EC)
Extension Research Project II or Elective course (5 EC)
Introduction to Research Project II (2 EC)
Research project II (30 EC)
Writing and defining your own PhD proposal (8 EC)

Study load

40 hours of class and self-study per week on average

Curriculum

Embedded in both the University Medical Center Groningen and the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, MMIT offers excellent facilities for (pharmaco)genomics, proteomics and in vivo(animal) and in vitro(cell) imaging.

This direct interplay of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences is what makes MMIT unique as well as the possibility to choose a specialization after the first semester. At the end of the second year, you will write and defend your own research proposal with which you can apply for a PhD position at UMCG.

Programme options
Neuroscience (specialization)

How do neurodevelopmental disorders arise and are they reversible? How is organismal or central nervous system ageing involved in neurodegenerative disorders?

In this specialization, students will be exposed to a range of topics in the field of neurobiology, ranging from fundamental neurobiology, basic research, to more (pre)clinical translational research. We aim to unravel the (epi)genetics basis of the central nervous system (CNS) disease and the underlying cell biological defects in the context of various conditions and disorders are addressed in animals and humans.

For detailed information on neuroscience-associated research, please go to the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Cell Biology: https://bscs.umcg.nl/en/

For information and guidance on Neuroscience research, please contact the Neuroscience specialization coordinator dr. Bart Eggen (b.j.l.eggen umcg.nl).

Oncology (specialization)

How is cellular and/or organismal ageing involved in cancer development? What are the long-term adverse effects of treatment in cancer survivors and how can we prevent this?

In this specialization, students will focus on a range of aspects in the field of cancer biology, spanning the entire scope from rather fundamental basic research to (pre)clinical translational research and ultimately clinical trials. We aim to unravel the molecular mechanisms that determine malignant transformation of solid and hematological tumors and to translate these fundamental insights into improved early detection and treatment of cancer.

For information and guidance on Oncology research, please contact the Oncology specialization coordinator prof. dr. J.J.Schuringa (j.j.schuringa umcg.nl).

Infection and Immunity (specialization)

What are the detrimental and beneficial roles of microorganisms in human health and disease? How can we exploit this knowledge in the prevention and fight against infectious diseases?

In this specialization, students can unravel the mechanisms underlying immune-mediated chronic diseases by translation of basic immunological concepts into clinical practice (and vice versa). Students become involved in contributing to personalized and precision medicine for infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Students will address a wide variety of research topics ranging from the roles of microbes in the etiology of major autoimmune disorders to the genetics of celiac disease.

Nutrition and Metabolism (specialization)

Is every calorie the same? Does healthy obesity exist? Via which pathways does an unbalanced diet lead to diseases? What is the best nutrition during health and illness?

The prevalence of metabolic disorders increases with age and changes in lifestyle. Metabolic disorders have a causal role in liver, digestive and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other age-related chronic diseases, and are therefore an important cause of morbidity. In this specialization, students are involved in basic and (pre)clinical translational research in the field of nutrition and metabolic diseases. Students learn to understand the physiological, pathophysiological, and developmental basis of metabolic diseases with the aim to identify interventional targets and to design new evidence-based strategies to prevent, treat or deal with the consequences of these diseases.

For information and guidance on research within the UMCG and GRIP, contact the Medical Nutrition and Metabolic Disease specialization coordinator Dr. Janine Kruit (j.k.kruit umcg.nl).

Systems Medicine (specialization)

What is the central role that computational methods play in all biological and medical fields?

Computational methods are as diverse as the questions and problems which they tackle. In this specialization, the students gain an overview of a broad spectrum of computational methods and strategies including top-down approaches to analyze and model genome scale data, and bottom up approaches to study the detailed dynamics of molecular networks, from basic biology to clinical studies. In doing so we will cover multi-scale data across the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome. The needs and constraints for acquisition of quantitative data at all scales will be covered, as much as the differences in computational approaches used to analyze different data types.

For detailed information on bioinformatic and systems research and guidance on where to conduct your computational research of choice, contact the Medical Systems Biology and Bioinformatics specialization coordinator prof. dr. Kathrin Thedieck (k.thedieck umcg.nl).

Drug Innovation (specialization)

Are you interested in finding new and innovative drugs and therapies and do you wish to improve the use of existing drugs?

The disciplines covered in this track circle around the theme: 'molecules for patients'. Students are encouraged to bridge the gap between the fundamental natural sciences (such as chemistry and physics) and the medical/clinical sciences in the field of medicinal products. This specialization contributes to the entire field of the pharmaceutical sciences, from basic areas such as chemical analysis and synthesis to pharmaceutical practice and patient-oriented research. Knowledge from different research disciplines is combined in the design and evaluation of optimal drugs, products and therapies that are being made available to society. Research in this specialization is of high societal impact with several drugs or related products developed in-house on the market or in clinical trials, several spin-offs, a strong portfolio of patents and research that contributes directly to healthcare policymaking.

For detailed information go to the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy: https://www.rug.nl/research/grip/

For information and guidance on Drug Innovation research, please contact the Drug Innovation specialization coordinator prof. dr. Frank Dekker (f.j.dekker rug.nl ).

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Students are encouraged to perform their second research proposal abroad, further enhancing their international experience. Previously students have done this at:

  • Children's Hospital Boston
  • Harvard Stem Cell Institute
  • Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London
  • J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt am Main
  • KU Leuven
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University Hospital Freiburg
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Oxford
Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
MedicineAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Biomedische WetenschappenAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
PharmacyAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Pharmaceutical SciencesAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Life Science and TechnologyAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
BiologyAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Molecular Life SciencesAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
BiologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
PharmacyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
MedicineUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

With a bachelor's degree in the fields of biology, pharmacy, life science and technology or (bio)medical sciences you are admissible. If you have another degree background the selection committee will determine whether the applicants background meets the admission requirements.

language test

Please make sure to consult https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-medical-sciences/master-programmes/how-to-apply/language-requirements for more information about the accepted language tests and the required minimum scores.

reference letter

Students will need to submit one academic reference letter.

other admission requirements

Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment is a selective master programme for which a maximum of 35 students are accepted each year. We value high-quality and small-scale education with plenty of room for personal attention and development of our students. Therefore a selection procedure is part of the admission process.

Please consult our detailed description of the application and selection procedure.

Registration procedure

For enrollment, please note that you have to apply for the programme via Studielink.

Students with a Dutch degree should, after applying via Studielink, send an email to mmit umcg.nl for further instructions.

Upon registration, a first check on completeness/educational background will be performed by the admission office after which the documentation will be send to the selection committee. Students that do not meet the Admission requirements will be directly informed and rejected by the Admissions Office. The selection committee will evaluate the documents of the applicants and judges the past performance and motivation of the applicant. Applicants that are not selected for an interview will be informed by the Admissions Office with an explanation for the reason for rejection. Selected applicants will be invited for an (on-line) interview via e-mail. During the interview, the applicant will be asked to present one of their BSc courses, the highlights of a predefined scientific manuscript and to elaborate on his/her motivation to apply for the programme. Please consult our detailed description for more information about the application and selection procedure.

We used to offer three application deadlines. Please be aware that there will be one application deadline for the academic year of 2023-2024, which is March 1st.

Selection procedure

Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment is a selective master programme for which a maximum of 35 students are accepted each year. We value high-quality and small-scale education with plenty of room for personal attention and development of our students. Therefore a selection procedure is part of the admission process. Please consult our detailed description of the application and selection procedure.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024

We used to offer three application deadlines. Please be aware that there will be one application deadline for the academic year of 2023-2024, which is March 1st.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Bachelor's degree in the fields of biology, pharmacy, life science and technology or (bio)medical sciences. If you have another degree background the Admissions Board will determine whether the applicants background meets the admission requirements.

language test

Please make sure to consult https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-medical-sciences/master-programmes/how-to-apply/language-requirements for more information about the accepted language tests and the required minimum scores.

reference letter

Students will need to submit one academic reference letter.

other admission requirements

Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment is a selective master programme for which a maximum of 35 students are accepted each year.

We value high-quality and small-scale education with plenty of room for personal attention and development of our students. Therefore a selection procedure is part of the admission process. Please consult our detailed description of the application and selection procedure.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

Registration procedure

For enrollment, please note that you have to apply for the programme via Studielink

Students with a Dutch degree should, after applying via Studielink, send an email to mmit umcg.nl for further instructions.

Upon registration, a first check on completeness/educational background will be performed by the admission office after which the documentation will be send to the selection committee. Students that do not meet the Admission requirements will be directly informed and rejected by the Admissions Office. The selection committee will evaluate the documents of the applicants and judges the past performance and motivation of the applicant. Applicants that are not selected for an interview will be informed by the Admissions Office with an explanation for the reason for rejection. Selected applicants will be invited for an (on-line) interview via e-mail. During the interview, the applicant will be asked to present one of their BSc courses, the highlights of a predefined scientific manuscript and to elaborate on his/her motivation to apply for the programme. Please consult our detailed description for more information about the application and selection procedure.

We used to offer three application deadlines. Please be aware that there will be one application deadline for the academic year of 2023-2024, which is March 1st.

Scholarships

Non-EU applicants may apply for a scholarship for the MMIT programme with the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS). The GSMS offers scholarships to excellent non-EU/EEA applicants under the Abel Tasman Talent Program. You can read more about the scholarships here.

The process of obtaining a scholarship is highly selective and non-EU applicants will need to indicate within their letter of motivation whether they depend on a scholarship in order to be able to enroll in MMIT or not. Furthermore, we ask the applicant to motivate why he/she is the person the selection committee should select for a scholarship.

Selection procedure

Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment is a selective master programme for which a maximum of 35 students are accepted each year. We value high-quality and small-scale education with plenty of room for personal attention and development of our students. Therefore a selection procedure is part of the admission process. Please consult our detailed description of the application and selection procedure.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024

We used to offer three application deadlines. Please be aware that there will be one application deadline for the academic year of 2023-2024, which is March 1st.

Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 18850full-time
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 20700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Upon completion of this programme you are fully prepared to become a successful scientist. Most graduates continue with PhD research. In fact, you will have the opportunity to obtain a PhD position at the University Medical Center Groningen. Others find a PhD position at other prestigious universities or start to work as a scientist in the private sector (industry, governmental institutions).

Research

Research during the Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment programme

The educational programme has six specializations, which are associated with the research institutes of the UMCG. Each specialization covers the entire spectrum of the research process from fundamental to clinical research.

At the end of the programme, students write their own grant proposal and the students can submit these to the Graduate School of Medical sciences for funding. The most successful proposals will be awarded which gives the students the possibility to execute their own research proposal.

The six specializations are:

  • Oncology
  • Neuroscience
    • Infection and Immunity
    • Nutrition and Metabolism
    • Systems Medicine
    • Drug Innovation

Here's what our alumni say about their research projects during the MMIT programme:

Anjana Sridharan

- 'My time during the research projects were highly rewarding. Writing research proposals, working independently, presenting to the team, and brainstorming new ideas laid the fundamentals for a career in science.'

Theodora Grosu

- 'Having heard from top-of-the-field researchers leading these specialisations, I chose to follow the Oncology track. During this track, I had the opportunity to expand my theoretical knowledge and learn about the latest research in the field, as well as participate in Oncology-related research myself. During this 6-month internship, I had the opportunity to work alongside and be introduced to the world of (oncology) research by inspiring (early-career) scientists at the UMCG. I believe this have strongly paved my way to pursuing a PhD degree in Medicine, which I am currently focusing on.'

Inge Zuhorn, programme director

- With the six different specializations, students are given freedom to focus on the fields of their interest. Each specialization will be presented at the beginning of the programme and students can decide if they want to participate in a specialization or follow the general programme. Students are assigned a mentor who helps them with decision making. Before students enter their first research project, they are asked to arrange a personal interview with three UMCG/GRIP professors of their choice. ‘That is where your motivation and independent decision making comes in again. You have to argue –via an oral presentation- which of the three laboratories suits your research ambitions the best.’ The students perform two research internships which counts for 1 year of the programme. Here, the students experience being a junior researcher and learn important skills related to scientific research, communication of research, collaborate with colleagues and professional behavior. Combined with the theoretical courses and our strong focus on personal and professional development we prepare the students to work as a scientist.

  • 
						Testimonial of Anjana Sridharan

    I was able to pursue specific topics and had the opportunity to specialize in one of my interests later during the programme.

    – Anjana Sridharan
    Read more

    I have always believed the right education will give immense confidence and belief in oneself. The MMIT master programme has been that for me. I was able to pursue specific topics and had the opportunity to specialize in one of my interests later during the programme.

    My time during the research projects were highly rewarding. Writing research proposals, working independently, presenting to the team, and brainstorming new ideas laid the fundamentals for a career in science. Apart from science and academics, the self-development sessions with my mentor are something that I will cherish. They helped me introspect myself and set realistic goals. I became aware not only of my strengths but also the places that I must work on to build myself. I learnt to trust my intuitions, believe in my abilities and constantly work on myself from the feedback I receive. This has shaped me and given me the preparedness to face the world. Last but not the least, the MMIT office is a wonderful team of women who are always around when you need them. Moving to another country to pursue masters during the pandemic was a challenging experience for me, but the MMIT office made things smooth and always looked out for their students which I’m grateful for!

    If you are someone who is interested in research, loves science, and wants to set foot into the research world, this master's is for you! MMIT guides you, moulds you and helps you to comfortably take your place in the world of research!

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  • 
						Testimonial of Theodora Grosu

    All in all, if given the chance, I would definitely choose the MMIT programme over and over again!

    – Theodora Grosu
    Read more

    After completing my bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences, I was unsure which specific path I want to follow. Luckily, MMIT offers six specializations, which are thoroughly presented at the beginning of the programme. Having heard from top-of-the-field researchers leading these specializations, I chose to follow the Oncology track.

    During this track, I had the opportunity to expand my theoretical knowledge and learn about the latest research in the field, as well as participate in Oncology-related research myself. During this 6-month internship, I had the opportunity to work alongside and be introduced to the world of (oncology) research by inspiring (early-career) scientists at the UMCG. I believe this have strongly paved my way to pursuing a PhD degree in Medicine, which I am currently focusing on.

    All in all, if given the chance, I would definitely choose the MMIT programme over and over again! On top of all the transferable skills and experience I have gained at the UG/UMCG, I made a lot of good friends from all over the world, due to the multicultural environment in the MMIT programme.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Inge  Zuhorn, programme director

    'You can only find this specific combination of (bio)medical and pharmaceutical sciences here'

    – Inge Zuhorn, programme director
    Read more

    Ambitious, motivated and talented: according to programme director Inge Zuhorn, these words perfectly describe the students of the master programme of Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment (MMIT). 'The vast majority of our students aspire to an academic career and continue as a PhD student after graduation.'

    Prof. dr. Zuhorn is responsible for the content, organisation and quality of the master’s programme and its different specializations. ‘MMIT is embedded within the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP), combining (bio)medical and pharmaceutical sciences. Emphasis is on the field of (bio) medical sciences but students also learn the fundamentals of drug research. This unique combination allows students to not only obtain a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of diseases, but also gain an understanding into the development of novel innovative therapies.’

    Research skills
    The lectures are top-researchers from the UMCG and GRIP and teach students all indispensable research skills for the future. From critical reading and scientific writing to presenting, debating and making well-thought decisions. ‘Crucial for future top researchers is to be able to make decisions independently and in a well-reasoned manner. Students are guided in every step of the process,’ prof. dr. Zuhorn says. ‘That way they learn to ask critical questions before deliberating on the next step, to formulate hypotheses and use these to design experiments and gather evidence. In my personal experience and that of the other teachers, there is nothing more fun than teaching MMIT students; they are highly motivated and eager to learn.’

    Which specialization to choose?
    With the six different specializations, students are given freedom to focus on the fields of their interest. Each specialization will be presented at the beginning of the programme and students can decide if they want to participate in a specialization or follow a general programme. Students are assigned a mentor who helps them with decision making. Before students enter their first research project, they are asked to arrange a personal interview with three UMCG/GRIP researchers of their choice. ‘That is where your motivation and independent decision making comes in again. You have to argue –via an oral presentation- which of the three laboratories suits your research ambitions the best.’ For the second-year research project, students can also go abroad or do an industrial internship. All the knowledge and skills that you have obtained culminate at the end of the programme where students write and defend their own research proposal. The students can compete for a PhD scholarship to execute their own proposal. This is quite unique and obviously lots of fun.’

    Biologists, medics and pharmacists
    MMIT students come from different cultural and educational backgrounds. That shapes the master programme in a good way, prof. dr Zuhorn adds. ‘This year we have welcomed students of 17 nationalities and different bachelor degrees. Yet they form a tight-knit community and learn a lot from each other. Looking at issues from different perspectives, they complement and strengthen each other’s knowledge.’

    Some advice
    ‘Yes, we have a selection procedure but do not be intimidated by this,’ prof. dr. Zuhorn says. Students are screened on the basis of their CV, motivation letter and a letter of recommendation. Students that pass the requirements will be interviewed by the Admission board. During this interview - either in person or via Skype - applicants are asked to present a research project from their BSc study and an article. ‘The pressure is on, but just remember that you can prepare yourself well. Your motivation and talent for research are most important. Show them that you are a serious candidate.’



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Study associations

GLV Idun

GLV Idun is the study association for the bachelor and the master students studying in the Life Sciences at the University of Groningen.
As a study association we have a big and vibrant student society which organizes activities for students by students. If you are interested in joining social, educational or career activities you are at the right place with us. Because we organize over 175 activities in a year. To just name a few in our wide range of activities: the first year introduction camp, our monthly parties, weekly drinks on campus, exam support sessions, symposia, trips abroad and company visits. But if you want to do more than just join these activities, you can also become part of one of our 20 committees and organize these events together with a group of committee members. As an association we are constantly searching for new members that feel passionate about taking up the responsibility of organizing activities and join a committee. If you become part of a committee you will not only gain a new group of friends, you will also gain unique organizational experiences and become part of the active group of people within our beautiful association. If you want to know more, you can always find more info on our website: https://www.idun.nl/ or shoot an email to board@idun.nl
https://www.idun.nl/home
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Student profile

MMIT offers research minded students with diverse educational backgrounds a multidisciplinary teaching and research environment. Are you driven to become a top (bio)medical researcher? Do you like to solve problems and are you a creative thinker? Do you feel at home in an international setting? Then the ambitious master Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment is just the right programme for you!