The program

The mammalian immune system acts as a complex surveillance system ensuring to distinguish between self and non-self, and between harmless and dangerous events approaching from outside or inside of the organism. Moreover, it interacts with growth, differentiation and death of cells and tissues, and thus maintains the homeostasis and the integrity of our body.

The doctoral program “ICA” focuses on two pathologies of the immune system, i.e. the overwhelming allergic immune response and the inefficient immune response against certain tumors. Both diseases are a growing concern and there is an urgent medical need to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for the development of new therapies. The scientific goal of the program is unraveling the cellular and molecular immunological mechanisms and pathways and to develop rational and molecule-based strategies for the treatment of these diseases.

For this purpose, we select excellent graduate students from all over the world, provide an intellectually stimulating environment, excellent instrumental and methodological infrastructure and ambitious scientific projects. Eleven research groups with international reputation guarantee high quality research and training. Furthermore, the college structure ensures that students benefit from the collective experience of the researchers.

Program members are employed with full social security coverage at the University of Salzburg and are funded for at least 3 years. The ICA Program gives support for research stays in partner laboratories or universities, travel expenses for visiting congresses, workshops, summerschools and international courses.

With more than fifty percent of female students, the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Salzburg has an impressive portion of young women in science. ICA would like to follow this line, therefore, female students are encouraged to apply for the PhD program.


ICA is financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)


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