Cancer Biology International Master program
Our understanding of cancer has improved dramatically over the past decades with the discovery of the major principles that govern the emergence and the diversity of neoplastic diseases. These advances have led to the first successful cancer therapies based on the knowledge of specific molecular targets. Yet, cancer remains the leading cause of death in developed countries. The conception and future implementation of novel, more effective therapies requires further improvements in understanding cancer biology, for which a highly multidisciplinary approach is essential.
This Masters program ((lien https://masterbs.edu.umontpellier.fr/les-parcours/cancer-biology/))proposes training for research, and by doing research, in cancer, a field in which Montpellier laboratories are internationally recognized. It is conceived for students from various curricula (science, medicine, engineering). The training is supported by the Montpellier Comprehensive Cancer Center (SIRIC Montpellier Cancer), which includes about a hundred research teams located at various Montpellier research institutes, and which provide teaching and host Cancer Biology students for internships and PhDs. It also includes a cancer treatment center (ICM, Institut du Cancer de Montpellier) and the Montpellier University Hospital.
In the first year, students follow a specific teaching unit (Cellular Physiopathology and Cancer) and choose from several courses shared with other programs, thus enabling a student to define their personal Master’s degree specialization. Theoretical courses are followed by a 2 to 6 month research internship and developing a bibliography for your research. Almost all courses are given by bilingual teachers who can do so in English if required.
In the second year, students are given a large degree of freedom in choosing from 5 courses within the core curriculum and 3 thematic courses in the field of Cancer. The year is completed with a full-time 6-month research internship, thesis report and oral defense. Additionally, students are expected to design a theoretical research project, and defend it in an oral presentation at the end of the year. International students integrating into the program in the second year may benefit from the Montpellier Comprehensive Cancer Center (Montpellier SIRIC) fellowships based on their academic excellence. The second year is given entirely in English.
Semesters 2 and 4 internships can be undertaken in one of the hosting teams participating in the Montpellier SIRIC, but students are encouraged to apply to labs abroad at one of several partner universities (Coimbra Life Sciences Group (CLSG) Cancer Biology, IRIC) for at least one of their placements.
Objectives and careers
The program will provide students with the unique opportunity to explore the biological abnormalities underlying cancer development, sensitivity and resistance to treatments, and the scientific rationale for development of innovative anticancer therapies or combinations in a very competitive and integrated scientific and medical environment. Through their participation in high-level theoretical courses and seminars and their involvement in experimental work in top-level laboratories, students will acquire state-of-the-art knowledge and the skills to carry out original research anywhere in the world in the ever-growing field of cancer biology.
The two-year Master’s degree in Cancer Biology provides an integrated view of cancer pathology, from principles of cancer to current developments in cancer therapy. The program is based on fundamental knowledge in genetics, cell and molecular biology, then opens up to the integrated aspects of pathophysiology and finally addresses current practices and hot topics in anti-cancer therapy.
Starting your career
The Master’s degree itself is a diploma attesting to training of a level required to undertake a PhD and embark on a research career in the fundamental or applied sciences in the public or biotechnology sectors, or to integrate vocational occupations or teaching careers at all levels.
To submit an application for the Cancer Biology Program Year 2 (M2), French or European candidates are invited to log onto the e-candidat application of the University of Montpellier (http://sciences.edu.umontpellier.fr/candidatures-inscriptions/candidatures-2/)
Students from outside Europe must apply through Campus France (http://www.campusfrance.org). In addition they are requested to send their application as soon as possible to (Siric.Montpellier@icm.unicancer.fr ) in order for their application to be examined in respect to the equivalence of foreign diploma requirements of Montpellier University.
No paper documents are required when submitting the application. Obligatory prerequisites to join the program include Semesters 1 and 2 accredited with Master M1 in Biology or equivalent (M2 Application).
For more information or questions contact Dr Daniel Fisher (email@example.com), Dr William Jacot (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr Marie-Alix Poul-Pearson (email@example.com )
Program content and organisation details
Semester 3 : 30 ECTS
- Choice of 2 course units (CU) from the general program offered to all students of the Masters Biology and Health Sciences (5 ECTS each).
Recommended (given in English):
- Genetics and epigenetics (M Koenig, A. Lengronne)
- Cell signaling (A Debant, K. Becamel)
Possible (given in French with slides in English):
- Bioinformatique et biologie des systèmes (O Radulescu, S Trapani et A Chavanieu)
- Physiologie intégrée (S Matecki, F Perrin)
- Biophysique moléculaire et cellulaire (A Echallier-Glazer, A. Parmeggiani)
3 specific CU from the Cancer Biology Program (5 ECTS each)
- Principles of Cancer Biology (P. Pasero, D. Fisher)
- Cancer therapy (W Jacot, M-A Poul)
- Cell fate and plasticity (P. Mangeat, P. Fort)
- 1 CU of supervised research work (Master’s Research Thesis) (5 ECTS). The list for Master’s Research Thesis CU will only be available when choosing internships (students are encouraged to join research teams affiliated to the Montpellier Comprehensive Cancer Center, SIRIC. Evaluation is based on the internship project written and presented by the student.
Semester 4 : 30 ECTS
Laboratory research internship (20 ECTS)
Conception of a fully original research project on any subject/question, chosen by the student (10 ECTS).
Practical Information on Assessments
Written examinations :
Two hour written exams for each CU of semester 3 (with possibility to answer in English or in French), which will be anonymously graded. The questions, which are related to course content, will test the students’ capacities for scientific reasoning.
Reports and oral presentations:
Both can be in English or French.
Master’s Research Thesis : The report must be submitted to the committee for the second week of January. The oral presentation is scheduled for the end of January
The fictituous project report and the internship report must both be submitted by mid-May. The oral presentations are scheduled for the end of May.
For each presentation, students should prepare slides and will have 10 to 12 minutes to present their work, followed by 10 minutes of questions.
Further information is available at: https://masterbs.edu.umontpellier.fr/les-parcours/cancer-biology/