A brand new international Master in Cancer Biology

In September 2019, the two-year Master program “Cancer Biology” was launched at the University of Bordeaux. This program, taught entirely in English, is notable for its multi- and interdisciplinary, research-focused teaching and learning approach.

  • 11/02/2020

The Cancer Biology class of 2019-2020 The Cancer Biology class of 2019-2020

The origins

The Cancer Biology program follows a major reorganization of cancer research in Bordeaux. Numerous research laboratories within the domain of cancer and cellular biology, previously dispersed throughout Bordeaux, have come together within one common research network known as “Oncosphère Bordeaux”. In addition to these labs, other research units within the domains of physics, chemistry, mathematics and computer science (known as STEM), and with established links to cancer (such as diagnosis technologies or therapy development), have also joined up via this platform, thus creating an interdisciplinary research environment. Such a setting was the ideal basis for the creation of a new and innovative study program and thus, the Master program “Cancer Biology” saw the light of day!

Program strengths

This Master “Cancer Biology” proposes multi- and interdisciplinary content. The topic of cancer is studied from various angles covering not only fundamental cellular biology but also clinical oncology and translational research (moving the results of experimental models towards a medical application). The study program is based on a partnership with major research institutes and researchers themselves play an active role on the teaching panel, with regular invitations to share their work during seminars.

What distinguishes our program is not only its international aspect but most of all, the connections with a variety of other disciplines and its strong link to the Oncosphère network which reinforces its research focus. 

José-Eduardo Gomes — Assistant Professor, UBx

During the program, students have the opportunity to study abroad within the framework of internships which are organized in laboratories or companies of institutional partners of the University of Bordeaux (in Brazil, Canada, USA, UK, Portugal or Spain), and also in numerous laboratories involved in international collaborations with Oncosphère research teams.

Upon completion of the two-year program, students may pursue their academic path at doctorate level or work directly in private or public laboratories. Indeed for those wishing to continue on with their studies and research, the future looks bright as the Master is the basis of a project to create a “Graduate school’ within the domain of cancer. This project, which will offer a program of excellence from Master to Doctorate level, is to be submitted during the next “Investments for the future” call for proposals, this Spring.

A student’s experience: Yasmine Pobiedonoscew

After a Bachelor degree in Biotechnologies for health, Yasmine started her Master degree in Cancer Biology in September 2019. With a fascination for the vast topic of cancer, Yasmine was convinced by this program with its international training delivered completely in English (a real advantage for scientific research), and also with the possibility of specializing as of the first year. Such a study structure presents a real logic and advantage for her as during the first year the cancer is analyzed at the cell level, and in the second year at the tissue scale.

The courses are really interesting and are given by lecturers who are specialists in their field, passionate, attentive and available for their students”.

Fully convinced of her future in the study of cancer, Yasmine is already planning on pursuing her Master degree with a thesis.

> For more information about the Cancer Biology program, please consult the dedicated webpage.

* The Cancer Biology program benefits from consequent support and funding, from the Oncosphère structure, the “Initiative of Excellence” of UBx and the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine.


The project, Oncosphère, is a regional research network aimed at bringing together and coordinating cancer research between university hospital locations, university campuses, research institutes and companies in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. The network unites excellence in medicine and biology as well as in technology, digital, human and social sciences.

With an interdisciplinary approach to oncology, the research is planned according to five joint themes: tumorogenesis, translational research, tumor microenvironment, technological innovations, aging and the environment. Oncosphère represents academics, researchers, clinicians and industrialists, joining forces to develop and promote cancerology as another discipline of excellence of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.