Profile & activities

Microbes have a major effect on the ecosystem and humans. Microbes run biogeochemical cycles of the elements, play a major role in the intestines of animals and biotechnology such as waste water treatment and food production, just to mention some. On the other hand, microbes cause diseases for plants, animals and humans.
Courses and studying

A doctoral degree in the programme comprises of a doctoral thesis and 40 credits of doctoral studies. The studies are divided into discipline-specific and transferable skills.

We also organise research seminars, where you get to present your own work, receive feedback and get to know your fellow doctoral researchers.

Courses in research ethics and transferable skills are offered throughout the academic year by the Doctoral School in Environmental, Food and Biologiacal Sciences (YEB).

MBDP of­fers sup­port to at­tend MOOC

MBDP offers the opportunity to complete the in depth MBDP thematic courses by attending MOOCs.

You may include a MOOC in your degree if you find a suitable course. In order to get the credits, you must obtain a course certificate. To obtain the certificate, you usually need to pay a fee. MBDP supports its doctoral researchers’ participation in field-specific MOOCs with approximately 50 Euro.

The financial support can be applied using this online application form. Before applying, please discuss with your supervisor about the course you are planning to take, to make sure it fits your study plan. The planning officer Mia will review the application and decide on the funding. You should first pay the course certificate fee yourself and MBDP will then reimburse the cost to you.

Here is a collection of links for you where you can find interesting courses that can be included in your degree.



MOOC courses at the university of Helsinki

ClassCentral MOOCs

If you have any questions about the funding, please contact the planning officer by emailing to mbdp-office(a)

Events and activities

Fridays at 9.15


2 February, at Biocenter 2, room 2012
Prof. Ronald de Vries (Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht University, The Netherlands): Complexity and diversity of fungal primary carbon metabolism

1 March, at Infocenter, room K1087
Prof. Kirsi Mikkonen (Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki): Fungal mycelia and food applications

22 March, at  Biocenter 2, room 1015
Associate Professor Edoardo Capuano (Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands): Food design, gut microbiota and health

17 May, at Biocenter 2, room 2012
Senior scientist Tanja Paasela, VTT: Utilizing Trichoderma reesei as a microbial cell factory to produce proteins for biosynthetic materials

29 September, at Biocentre 2, room 2012
Prof. Angela Ivask, University of Tartu, Estonia: "Antimicrobial surfaces - a promising opportunity or a hidden threat?"

3 November, at Infocentre, room K1046
Ass. prof. Eduardo Capuano, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands: "Food design, gut microbiota and health"

17 November, at Infocentre, room K1046
Prof. Kirsi Mikkonen, University of Helsinki: "Fungal mycelia and food applications"

Thu 30 November, at 15:15-16:00, in Zoom
Dr. Davinia Salvachúa, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA: "Lignin valorization: aromatic-catabolizing bacteria or white-rot fungi?"

Thu 7 December, at 16:15-17:00, at Biocentre 2, room 2012
Assoc. Prof. Roland Ludwig BOKU, Austria: "An Electrochemical Method to Measure Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenase Activity on Solid Substrates"

Organiser: Miia Mäkelä, miia.r.makela(at)

10 attendances = 1 ECTS, own presentation = 1 ECTS

Maximum Microbiology Seminar credits = 3 ECTS

Thursdays at 14:15



Thu 21 September 14:15-15:00, Biocentre 3, seminar rooms 3401+3402

Meri Salomaa, doctoral researcher
(University of Helsinki): “Persistent dsRNA bacteriophage infection​” and

Sini Huuskonen, doctoral researcher (University of Helsinki): Characterizing the viral-host physical and functional changes of SARS-CoV-2 variants

Mon 2 October 15:00-16:00, Biocentre 3, seminar rooms 3401+3402

Prof Vijay Reddy
(University of Minnesota): Virus Structure, Informatics, and Vaccine Design

Thu 23 November 14:15-15:00, Biocentre 3, seminar rooms 3401+3402

Dr Maija Vihinen-Ranta (University of Jyväskylä): ”Herpesviruses remodel organization and function of mitochondria as infection proceeds

Thu 14 December 14:15-15:00, Biocentre 2, room 1015

Dr Elina Laanto (University of Jyväskylä): "Exploring megaphage biology"


Thu 25 May 14:15-15:00 Biocentre 2, room 2012

Dr Matti Jalasvuori (University of Jyväskylä): "Bacteriophages and the search for sustainable solutions to the antibiotic resistance crisis"

Thu 27 April at 14:15-15:00 Biocentre 2, room 2012

Dr Maria Anastasina (University of Helsinki): "TBA"

Thu 23 March at 14:15-15:00 Biocentre 2, room 1015

Dr Mirka Lampi from University of Helsinki: "tRNA modification dynamics during bacteriophage infection in a cold active marine bacterium Shewanella glacialimarina". 

Thu 16 February at 14:15-15:00 Biocentre 2, room 2012

Vinaya Venkat doctoral researcher (University of Helsinki): “Transmission, pathogenesis, and infection dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant using minks as an animal model"

Rasmus Malmgren doctoral researcher (University of Helsinki): “Viral aerosol transmission in dental clinics”

Organisers: Ausra Domanska and Ilona Rissanen, e-mail: mbdp-office(at)

10 attendances = 1 ECTS, own presentation = 1 ECTS

Maximum Virus Club credits = 3 ECTS

To demonstrate their attendance, students are requested to write a short summary (5-10 sentences) of the talks in each of the sessions they chose to attend, and to submit these using Virus Club's Moodle page (course key for self-enrolment is: 2021VC).

MBDP annual meeting takes place every year during spring. The event consists of inspiring speakers and relaxed get-together. The annual meeting aims to gather MBDP students, supervisors and board members to meet in relaxed atmosphere once a year. Annual meeting participants are rewarded with one study credit.

The programme also organises annually First manuscript writing course. The course gives guidance on the academic writing process and enables during the course to write all the sections of a scientific manuscript. Participants will receive critical assessment by the course teacher and peers.

MBDP doctoral programme organises several courses in bioinformatics e.g. Bacterial genomes and Metagenomics. We prioritise MBDP members, but others are welcome to join if we have free seats available. You can find more information on bioinformatic courses here.

Other sem­inars in Viikki

Events taking place at the Viikki campus are listed in this calendar (however, most info is not up-to-date)

Courses and work­shops else­where

Many courses relevant for MBDP doctoral researchers are organised all over the world.

You may find interesting and useful courses among these:

  • PhD courses organised by the NOVA network

    The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are members of the NOVA (The Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network). Students of member faculties may participate on NOVA courses free of charge (travel and accommodation not included). Please find more information on Nova network here.
  • NorDoc – Nordic Doctoral Training in Health Sciences network provides doctoral training courses in health offered by the NorDoc partner organisations
  • PhD courses organised by other doctoral programmes and schools
  • Information skills courses by the Helsinki University Library
  • You may also find relevant courses in the Master’s Programmes of the University of Helsinki.
  • Or you can search from all University of Helsinki courses in English.
  • CSC – IT center for science arranges many kinds of courses and workshops
  • See national course list, for example, in FinBioNet (Finnish Doctoral Programme Network in Life Sciences) page → FinBioNet course calendar