PhD in Molecular Medicine

Director: Prof. Isabella Screpanti

Contacts: Dept. Molecular Medicine
Email: dottorato.medmol@gmail.com

Sections:

1. Molecular Medicine

2. Epidemiology and Molecular Pathology

3. Human Pathology

Faculty:

Diana Bellavia
Raffaella Buzzetti
Antonio F. Campese
Gianluca Canettieri
Carlo Capalbo
Saula Checquolo
Giulia D’ Amati
Enrico De Smaele
Carlo Della Rocca
Lucia Di Marcotullio
Elisabetta Ferretti
Paola Gazzaniga
Felice Giangaspero
Roberto Gradini
Marella Maroder
Laura Masuelli
Laura Ottini
Maurizio Salvati
Susanna Scarpa
Isabella Screpanti
Claudio Talora
Marco Tafani

 

1. Molecular Medicine

The activity of the Section of Molecular Medicine is focused on:
a) understanding the molecular basis of diseases and development of appropriate experimental models;
b) developing tools and procedures applied to molecular diagnosis and therapy.

AIMS

a) Training scientists able to perform biomedical research using advanced technologies on the fields described in the Research and Study Program, within the areas of predictive and preventive Medicine and molecular therapy using physiopathological, diagnostic and prognostic approaches. The projects aim to the understanding and the clinical translation of genetic and molecular basis of diseases and to the use of molecular tools for their diagnosis and therapy.
b) Exploiting biomedical research products and knowledge advancement in biotechnology industry.

RESEARCH AND STUDY PROGRAM

Molecular Medicine
a) Molecular Pathology and Technologies of Molecular Diagnosis: gene mutation detection (Real Time QPCR and PCR, heteroduplex analysis, SSCP, DGGE, PTT, Fluorescent Assisted Mismatch Analysis, microsatellite analysis, DNA sequencing, DNA-microarrays, microRNA-microarray, Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), ChIP-on-chip, next-generation massively parallel sequencing DNA-Seq, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq);
b) Models of gene therapy and genetic engineering;
c) Genotype-phenotype relationships and molecular pathogenesis of human diseases and animal models of diseases.

• Molecular Endocrinology
Molecular pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of endocrine diseases and molecular basis of hormonal signal transduction.

• Biotechnology
a) Cellular and molecular biology: cell differentiation and growth (stem and progenitor cells); gene expression; recombinant DNA technologies;
b) Genomics and post-genomics: gene searching; transcriptomics (differential display, microarrays; structure/functions prediction; ChIP and ChIP-on-chip, DNA-Seq, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq); functional characterization of gene products;
c) Mouse models of diseases: conditional transgenic, knock-out and knock-in mice;
d) Gene transfer: DNA transfection and viral vectors;
e) Bioethics: ethical, social and legal aspects of biotechnological experimental approach; predictive Medicine; technology transfer and industrial exploitation.

2. Epidemiology and Molecular Pathology

The activity of the Section of Epidemiology and Molecular Pathology is focused on:
a) the technological expertise to perform studies on molecular epidemiology and on genetic characterization and prediction of multifactorial diseases.
b) the methodological approach to evaluate the interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases and cancer.

AIMS

Technological aspects of Molecular Genetics applied to the study of the pathogenetic mechanisms of the diseases and studies of the environmental conditions that modify the penetrance of the susceptibility genes.

RESEARCH AND STUDY PROGRAM.

1) Epidemiology of multifactorial diseases,
2) Genetics of multifactorial diseases with special reference to metabolic diseases;
3) Genetic susceptibility and immune response;
4) Genetics susceptibility to cancer;
5) Analytical Biochemistry;
6) Molecular Biology;
7) Virus infection.
 

3. Human Pathology

The activity of the Section of Epidemiology and Molecular Pathology is focused on:
the study of the molecular pathogenesis of the human diseases and to the development of new diagnostic methodologies in human pathology. Deepening of a strong background in human pathology mainly in the fields of Molecular Pathology and oncology of solid tumors. Production of animal models of human diseases, through the generation and characterization of transgenic animals.

AIMS

Study of the molecular mechanisms during damage production in specific human diseases. A second goal is represented by the effort to finalize this knowledge to advanced diagnostic and personalized therapy.

RESEARCH AND STUDY PROGRAM.

1) Optical and electron microscopy;
2) Development of laser microdissection, coupled to biochemistry or molecular biology techniques, mainly for the study of small biopsies from patients;
3) Production and study of cellular and animal models (including transgenics) for the experimental study of the molecular pathogenesis of human pathological conditions.

PHD PROGRAM ORGANIZATION (Time Length: 3 years)

The PhD Program is accepting national and international students (e.g. EU Commission, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions [MSCA], etc.).

Activities
a) Seminars on the fields of the Research and Study Programs held by PhD Program Faculty and external scientists.
b) Development of specific research programs by PhD students under the direction of a supervisor. The  program will be the object of the final PhD thesis.
c) Meetings focused on discussion of experimental data or recent literature (e.g. data club, journal club) and workshops organization.
d) Stages, training or research activities in external national or international scientific Institutions.
e) Annual reports of PhD students' activities.

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