PhD Programme in Experimental Medicine

Director: Prof. Ernesto Fedele

The PhD Programme in Experimental Medicine, Department of Experimental Medicine (DIMES), started with the 29th cycle in place of the School of Experimental, Molecular and Clinical Biology and Medicine, active since the 21st cycle. By exploiting the solid scientific collaborations of the members of the Teaching Board, witnessed by several co-authored publications, this PhD programme aims to continue the very positive experience of integrated and multidisciplinary training of students in the field of Life Sciences, which has successfully resulted in the preparation of professionals with a common scientific-methodological base and skills typical of the different scientific areas represented in the course, who contribute to the progress of both basic and applied research. This goal will be achieved by teaching PhD students to independently manage specific research projects, accustoming them to critical thinking, to problem solving and to the correct interpretation and communication of their results. The past and present international collaborations, the presence of foreign professors in the Teaching Board, the Erasmus+ projects and the international Curriculum of Pharmacology and Toxicology, offer PhD students the opportunity to attend qualified foreign laboratories to improve their preparation and explore international job opportunities. The collaboration with private companies aims to expand the PhD students’ knowledge of excellence working realities to facilitate their access to the labour market.

The PhD Programme in Experimental Medicine proposes four “Curricula”:
1) Curriculum of Biochemistry
2) Curriculum of Pharmacology and Toxicology
3) International Curriculum of Pharmacology and Toxicology (double doctorate with Maastricht University)
4) Curriculum of Molecular and Cellular Pathology of Aging-related Diseases

Governing Bodies
The PhD Programme Coordinator is usually a full professor, but he can be also an associate professor in case of unavailability of full professors. The Coordinator holds office for three years.

The PhD Board consists of full/associate/assistant professors, first researchers and research managers (or equivalent titles) of public bodies, as well as highly qualified experts even if not possessing the above-mentioned titles.

The Phd Board members of the University of Genoa (UNIGE) belong to the Department of Pharmacy (DIFAR), Department of Experimental Medicine (DIMES), Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialities (DIMI), Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, and Maternal and Children’s Sciences (DINOGMI), Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences (DISTAV).

For further information: PhD regulation

Expected employment and professional opportunities
The main employment and professional opportunities are represented by the field of basic and applied research in national and international, public and private laboratories. Indeed, approximately 70% of graduates who have obtained the PhD title in previous programmes, which are now joined in the present one, have been employed in these areas. Other employment opportunities include industrial applications of research products (e.g. companies producing molecular biology kits), drug development in pharmaceutical companies, commercial departments of (bio)chemical companies, development and monitoring of clinical trials (e.g. Contract Research Organization). As a matter of fact, two executives of major pharmaceutical companies and an executive of the IIT (Italian Institute of Technology) have obtained their PhD degree in the doctorate courses that have converged in this new PhD Programme.

Disciplinary and interdisciplinary didactic activities
The training program includes:
15 Specialistic courses with final assessment (6 CFU);
Seminars with national and international speakers;

Other training activities
Course of “Scientific writing” held by an English mother tongue specialist to improve not only the language but also the scientific communications of the research results at congresses (oral presentations, posters). Other activities include: seminars held by foreign scientists,  updating of scientific literature in English, collaboration in the drafting and revisioning of articles to submit for publication and of funding applications, participation to international congresses with oral and poster communications, research stages in international laboratories.

Computer technology
Use of software dedicated to: instrumentation management, different types of image analysis, statistical analysis of experimental data, preparation of scientific graphs and images, preparation of internal and external presentations with multimedia tools, bibliographic research and analysis of bibliometric indices.

Research management
Continuous interaction with doctoral students for: analysis of the scientific topics to be addressed, optimization of the experimental protocols and choice of the best technological methods available, drafting of research projects and funding applications under the various scientific, legal and administrative aspects.

Valorization of research results and intellectual property
Valorization of research products by submission of articles for publication in various national and international peer-reviewed journals, participation in national and international conferences with posters and/or oral communications. In addition, meetings with experts in the field of intellectual property are organized to illustrate the regulations and procedures necessary for patents filing.

Main collaborations with International Universities and Research Centers
– Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, USA.
– Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University Medical Center   Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.
– Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College of London, U.K.
– Department of Neuroscience, The University of Sheffield, UK.
– Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, USA.
– Institute for Physiological Chemistry, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutemberg University, Germany.
– School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences, King’s College London, UK.
– International Associated Laboratory (LIA), Prenatal Stress and Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Lille, France.
– Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
– School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
– Laboratory of Memory Disorders & Vascular Biology – Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders-The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research | Northwell Health, USA.


Curriculum of Biochemistry
Maurizio Bruschi: Assistant Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Santina Bruzzone: Full Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Simona Candiani: Full Professor, DISTAV, UniGe
Gianluca Damonte: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Enrico Millo: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Laura Sturla: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Elena Zocchi: Full Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Andreas H. Guse: Full Professor, Department of                                                                                                                              Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, UKE-Hamburg, Germany

Curriculum of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Tiziana Bonifacino: Assistant Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Bruno Burlando: Associate Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Chiara Cervetto: Associate Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Massimo Grilli: Associate Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Manuela Marcoli: Assistant Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Francesca Mattioli: Associate Professor, DIMI, UniGe
Marco Milanese: Associate Professor, DIFAR, UniGe

International Curriculum of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ernesto Fedele: Full Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Anna Pittaluga: Full Professor, DIFAR, UniGe
Jos Prickaerts: Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry                                                                                                                       and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and                                                                                                                    Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Curriculum of Molecular and Cellular Pathology of Aging-related Diseases
Cinzia Domenicotti: Full Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Annalisa Furfaro: Assistant Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Michele Iester: Associate Professor, DINOGMI, UniGe
Barbara Marengo: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Mariapaola Nitti: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Roberta Ricciarelli: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Nicola Traverso: Associate Professor, DIMES, UniGe
Ottavio Arancio: Full Professor, Taub Institute                                                                                                                                          for research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the aging                                                                                                                                        brain, Columbia University, Stati Uniti
Giovanni Enrico Mann: Full Professor, Cardiovascular                                                                                                                        Division, King’s College London, Regno Unito