Translational Medicine

Doctoral programme (PhD)
A.Y. 2020/2021
Study area
Medicine and Healthcare
Doctoral programme (PhD)
Dipartimento di Scienze biomediche per la salute - Via Mangiagalli, 31 - 20133 Milano
PhD Coordinator
The doctoral programme aims to train researchers who are able to develop research projects that bridge the gap between laboratory activity and clinical sciences, facilitating the translational process in both directions.
1. understand and study biological structures in the different levels of organisation, their physiological and pathological modifications in the framework of interactions between people and the environment, exploring diagnostic and therapeutic interventions and facilitating their application in clinical practice;
2. learn a scientific translational research approach which can favour points of contact between biological and clinical-behavioural discoveries and preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitation practices in order to improve di health and lifestyle, also considering the global increase in life expectancy;
3. acquire a solid preparation in the methodological disciplines required to formulate correct experimental hypotheses, define experimental designs and critically interpret results;
4. promote communication between biological and clinical-behavioural research, particularly in relation to movement and physical activity in the area of prevention, mental-physical wellbeing, sport and professional performance, in conditions of health, illness and disability, in a unified perspective;
5. understand the ethical implications of clinical and biological research.
Tutte le classi di laurea magistrale
Dipartimento di Scienze biomediche per la salute - Via Mangiagalli, 31 - 20133 Milano
Title Professor(s)
Cardiopulmonary interactions in heart failure
GBA and Parkinson’s Disease - Mutations in GBA gene, an enzyme involved in the sphingolipid catabolism, are a major risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The proposed research project is aimed to dissect the molecular mechanism responsible for the onset of neurodegeneration upon GBA loss of function.
Requisiti: Cell culture, lipid analysis, enzymatic assays
Study of the molecular mechanisms controlling the genesis and modulation of the cardiac rhythm under physiological and pathological conditions
Innate immunity in malaria-leishmaniasis co-infection. Malaria and leishmaniasis are severe parasitic diseases endemic in the tropics. The two infections can co-occur and cross-interact in the same patient with implications on the course of the two diseases. The aim of the project is to investigate the role of malaria and leishmania co-infection on macrophages and dendritic cell functions. Expression of co-stimulatory molecules, cytokines release and inflammasome activation will be investigated.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge in cell culture and in molecular biology
Characterization of new factors involved in antigen presentation mechanism responsible for cellular-mediated immune response. Effects on anti-tumoral and anti-viral immune responses. The project will be divided into 3 steps: Identification and functional characterization of ERAP2 gene polymorphisms; Evaluation of the cytotoxic immune response in the presence of the different ERAP2 gene variants; Functional characterization of ERAP2 gene variants in susceptibility to viral infections and colon cancer
Requisiti: Knowledge of cellular and molecular immunology with omics approach
My area of study is that of asymptomatic and symptomatic stages of multiple myeloma (MM). The overall aim of the project is to identify initiating lesions in MM and differentiate them from lesions relevant for progression. This could lead to novel diagnostic tests with predictive value for patients, and provide novel targets for rationale treatment.
Requisiti: Experience in handling patient samples, cell purification, and nucleic acid extraction. Knowledge of molecular biology techniques
Gut-brain axis: role of microbial metabolites
In this project, Machine Learning approaches (computational strategies that automatically determine (i.e., learns) methods and parameters to reach an optimal solution to a problem) will be used to assess the prognostic trajectories of psychiatric subjects. Specifically, a multimodal longitudinal approach, combining structural and functional imaging data with clinical and cognitive performances, will be applied in order to look for brain patterns and biomarkers in a psychiatric population.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge of Machine Learning techniques and of coding languages (Matlab or R); knowledge of brain imaging
Biomarkers associated with the diagnosis of Mood Disorders: epigenetic, inflammatory and hormonal factors involved in the etiology and outcome of Mood Disorders
Requisiti: Competence in the field of translational research and/ or molecular biology
The project will address genetic, molecular and cellular aspects linked to the pathogenesis of serpinopathies, a class of conformational diseases each caused by mutations in a specific serpin. These proteins are particularly vulnerable to point mutations. These mutations often lead to the polymerization of serpins within the cells of synthesis, with consequent local damage associated with the accumulation of polymers and defect of secretion with loss of the inhibitory function. The proposal will focus on the deficiency of the serpin C1-inhibitor, which causes hereditary angioedema.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge of cellular and molecular biology
Alzheimer’s disease: linking protecting/promoting clinical evidence and structural features. The central feature in AD pathogenesis is the accumulation of neurotoxic forms of Aβ-peptide which aggregate from small soluble oligomers to extended fibers. It has been clinically observed that some naturally-occurring variants of Aβ do protect from this disease. We propose to study the molecular machinery underlying the actual protective/promoting effects of different genetic variants of Aβ. The activity will be done both at the BIOMETRA Dept. (UNIMI) and at the international European Large-Scale-Facilities, in collaboration with the Mario Negri Institute and the Besta Institute
On the route to the construction of safe-stimuli responsive ion-channel proteins: structural interference between channel and hosting membrane. Ion channels require to be held by a membrane. Within a wider program connected to an ERC project (noMAGIC), aimed at the construction of potassium channel variants capable of responding to external safe stimuli, the structural aspects of membrane-protein interaction will be followed with advanced spectroscopic techniques. The activity will be done both at the BIOMETRA Dept. (UNIMI) and at the international Large-Scale-Facilities located in Europe, in collaboration with electrophysiology groups in Milano and in Darmstadt.
The intestinal compartment is composed by immune cells, epithelial cells and gut microflora involved in functional crosstalks aimed at maintaining a balance between tolerance and immunity. In vitro systems, murine models of intestinal inflammation, and patients’-derived surgical specimens, will be used to investigate how the intestinal microenvironment, including the gut microbiota, affects mucosal T cells activation during IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) progression.
Requisiti: Previous experiences in Biology or Biotechnology fields; knowledge of molecular and cellular biology techniques, cytofluorimetry and in vivo mouse models of intestinal inflammation.
Role of sphingosine 1 phosphate (S1P) in Cystic Fibrosis
Requisiti: Knowledge of the main biochemistry and molecular biology techniques; ability in handling cultured cell line models.
Iron may be an important determinant of pancreatic islet inflammation and a biomarker of diabetes risk and mortality. Iron metabolism in the β cell is complex: excess free iron is toxic but, at the same time, iron is required for β cell function and thereby glucose homeostasis. The project aims to understand the role exerted by iron transporters in islet physiology and pathophysiology by means of molecular, biochemical, pharmacological, and biophysical approaches in clonal β-cell lines and human islet.
Requisiti: Expertise in cell biology and/or molecular biology. Interests and predisposition for fluorescence microscopy techniques and/or electrophysiology
Study of platelet hyper-reactivity as cardiovascular risk factor: functional and molecular characterization in association with the risk of atherothrombotic coronary artery disease. 1) Prevalence of platelet hyper-reactivity, measured as “spontaneous platelet aggregation” in patients with previous episodes of acute coronary syndrome and normal subjects; 2) ability of platelets that can undergo spontaneous aggregation and of normal platelets to form thrombi in vitro on collagen-coated surfaces under flow conditions mimicking physiological and pathological arterial flow; 3) identification of the molecular bases of “spontaneous platelet aggregation” to identify new molecular targets for antithrombotic drugs with favorable risk/benefit ratio.
Requisiti: Knowledge of basic elements of cellular biology
New therapeutic approaches to the sporadic Parkinson’s Disease. The proposal seeks to explore the molecular role played by the oligosaccharide II3Neu5Ac-Gg4 in resolving the physiopathology of PD. In particular, using in vitro and in vivo experiments we are interested to understand the biochemical mechanism behind the PD neurodegenerations: alpha-synuclein accumulation, mitochondrial disfunction and glia/microglia activation.
Requisiti: Experience in biochemical, medical, biotechnological and pharmaceutical research
Role of inflammasome and phagocytosis in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson Disease). Experiments ex vivo using leukocytes from patients to verify efficacy of neo-synthetic molecules able to down regulate NLRP3 inflammasome activation and to reduce pyroptosis and IL-1β and IL18 synthesis and to restore phagocytic function by TREM2 activation.
Requisiti: Knowledge of cellular and molecular immunology with omics approach
Cryotherapy has been shown to reduce pro-inflammatory response, relieve pain and enhance muscles’ post-exercise recovery. In this project, several types of cryostimulation will proposed to investigate independent effects of cooling, under a variety of conditions, therefore gaining a possible neuro/muscular recovery after exercise or triggering cold-induced thermogenesis for combating overweight and obesity.
Requisiti: Good knowledge of the anatomical and physiological aspects of neuro-endocrine-muscular systems
Etiopathogenetic study and translational medicine research applied to neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases represent a broad category of diseases with a high disability and mortality. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic strategies for these diseases. The project will focus on the development of new cell-mediated therapeutic approaches, based on the use of stem cells, and/or genetic and molecular therapeutic approaches, both in in vitro and in vivo disease models
Requisiti: Experience in cell culture and molecular biology
The present proposal will investigate the role of the hormone osteocalcin released by osteoblasts during bone remodeling in the modulation of the PTH synthesis and secretion from parathyroid cells and on the parathyroid cell proliferation. Osteocalcin has been recognized as a hormone involved in glucose metabolism and male gonadic function regulation. The project will use primary cultures of human parathyroid cells derived from benign parathyroid tumors, and the established cellular model of the HEK293 cells transiently transfected with the calcium-sensing receptor CASR. The experimental proposal is part of the project founded by Bando Cariplo 2018 for Research Aging.
Development of cellular and molecular therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative and motor neuron diseases. The current absence of effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment of highly disabling and often fatal neurodegenerative and motor neuron diseases requires a continuous research effort in this area. The project will be focused on the study of molecular pathogenetic mechanisms through the use of patient-specific in vitro models (induced pluripotent stem cells) and / or the development of new gene, molecular or cell-mediated therapy approaches in pre-clinical in vivo models of these diseases.
Requisiti: Experience in cellular and molecular biology
One of the main features of the increased cardiovascular (CV) risk in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients is vascular calcification (VC). The in vitro model of vascular calcification offers the possibility of study vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) after high-phosphate tretament. The aim of this project is to study the effect of high-phosphate on endothelial cells and to setup a new in vitro model of co-colture with VSMCs and endothelial cells to better understand the pathogenesis od vascular calcification in uremia.
Requisiti: Cell culture, Western blot, Real-time PCR
Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in different types of clinical specimens, assessment of the viral shedding, and of the transmission routes
Evaluation of mechanisms of injury induce by UV-rays exposure and protective effects of polyphenolic compounds in 2D and 3D experimental human models.
Effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in atopic dermatitis pathogenesis in a three-dimensional model of human normal skin: morphological and molecular analysis.
Study of energetic requirements of physical activity and sport-induced modifications related to energy metabolism, sports performance, morpho-functional modifications and hormonal regulation in sports and doping. Particular attention will be devoted to the study of changes induced by physical activity in populations with special needs and elderly, giving emphasis to the translationality of physical exercise and its use as a preventive and therapeutic tool.
Requisiti: The candidate should have good knowledge of the anatomical and physiological aspects of cardio-pulmonary, vascular and neuro-muscular systems. Furthermore, she/he should have a good knowledge of the physiological effects induced by aging.
Study of aspects related to neuromuscular activation and skeletal muscle contraction. Particular attention will be devoted to the study of changes induced by physical activity in populations with special needs and in the elderly, giving emphasis to the translationality of physical exercise and its use as a preventive and therapeutic tool.
Requisiti: The candidate should have good knowledge of the anatomical and physiological field of the neuro-muscular system. Furthermore, she/he should have a good knowledge of the physiological effects induced by aging and other neuromuscular pathologies.
Central organization of posture in Humans, either healthy or affected by movement disorders.
Requisiti: Deep knowledge of motor and posture Physiology in Humans
Monitoring for classic and newly discovered human Polyomaviruses infection after renal transplantation in order to perform early diagnosis of viral opportunistic infections in immunosuppressed patients. Set up of innovative neutralization assay for the discover of antibodies-based treatment of Polyomavirus-associated nephropathy.
Identification and functional validation of new candidate genes in patients with rare endocrine diseases by combined NGS analyses (WES, targeted, WGS): in vitro and /or in vivo studies
Requisiti: Knowledge in endocrinology, basic-level skills in next-generation sequencing techniques, cellular cultures and statistics applied to biomedical research.
DNA repair alterations trigger the anti-tumor immune response in a subset of breast cancers. Tumors that escape this defense are eligible for immunotherapy. Aim: identification of tumor-specific biomarkers to improve breast cancer patients’ selection for immunotherapy. The project will combine morphology, immunohistochemistry, gene expression profiling, and next-generation sequencing. The Division of Pathology, European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan, have excellent resources and cutting-edge equipment to support the Ph.D. students.
Requisiti: Strong interest and motivation in collaboratively conducting translational research in a young, dynamic, and interdisciplinary environment.
Characterization of the effect extracellular matrix components, tumor microenvironment and 3D arrangement on carcinoma progression
Requisiti: Knowledge of cell and molecular biology
3D Muscle-Tendon Unit modelling for unravelling tissue crosstalk in muscular dystrophies and aging (3D-MTU). The aim is shedding light on mechanisms involved in dystrophies and aging-related tendinopathies, by studying tendon and muscle as a single functional unit (MTU) analyzing 3D models of healthy and pathological MTUs. Models will be generated and exploited to dissect which ECM changes occur in aged and MD-affected MTUs, and how they impact on secretome and on mechanosignaling.
Requisiti: Laboratory experience that allows the learning of technologies aimed at protein / lipidomic studies, the analysis of complex datasets and the use of bioinformatics tools. Willingness to team work.
Molecular study of epigenetic machinery disorders (chromatinopathies). Project aims to identify the molecular pathogenetic mechanisms and strategies able to rescue chromatin opening/closing defects observed in chromatinopathies, in particular in Rubinstein-Taybi patients, paving the way to identify a therapeutic approach to change these disorders into curable diseases.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge of molecular and cellular biology techniques
Three-dimensional analysis of human craniofacial morphology in normal subjects and dysmorphic patients
Requisiti: Basic information of the anatomy of the soft and hard tissues of the head
Sphingolipid metabolism and signaling as a therapeutic target in tumor cells. The research project aims to study sphingolipid-mediated signal transduction mechanisms in physio-pathological processes with the aim of identifying targets for the development of innovative and effective therapies against tumors. In particular, the metabolism and the functional properties of specific sphingoid mediators will be investigated in: a) invasiveness, chemoresistance, angiogenesis and the characteristics of staminality of tumor and /or cancer stem cells.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge of the experimental procedures used in a biochemical research laboratory
Translational research on biological material from covid-19 patients to understand the mechanisms of disease and identify therapeutic targets also to cope with future epidemics. Objective: to investigate the immunological, genetic and epigenetic characteristics of patients with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and the molecular characteristics of the virus, to understand the disease mechanisms and host factors associated with the different degrees of severity of the clinical course. The ultimate goal of the project is to improve clinical practice in disease management and to identify possible therapeutic and vaccine prevention targets.
Requisiti: Knowledge of the pathogenetic basis of infectious diseases, knowledge of immunology and omics approaches.
Integrated approach for the characterization of bacterial virulence factors, host immunity and microbiota in infections sustained by multiresistant bacteria: identification of possible targets for intervention. The project involves the characterization through sequencing of the bacterial genome with identification of virulence factors, the study of innate immunity and the analysis of the microbiota (intestinal and pulmonary).
Requisiti: Knowledge of the pathogenetic basis of infectious diseases, knowledge of omics approaches.
Pathophysiology and treatment of acute respiratory failure and personalization of ventilatory support in patients with and without coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Study of mechanical ventilation techniques and spontaneous breathing supports.
Requisiti: Good knowledge of respiratory physiology and basic principles of mechanical ventilation
Endothelial dysfunction and activation of hemostasis as mechanism of organ damage and target of therapy in liver diseases. Objectives: 1) describing the pathogenic mechanisms regulating the hyperproduction of Von Willebrand factor (VWF), a common marker of endothelial dysfunction and an independent predictor of severe outcome in acute and chronic liver diseases, 2) defining the mechanism by which VWF is mediator of liver damage and potential target of therapy.
Requisiti: The candidate must be highly interested in traslational medicine. Scientific experience in the field of hepatology, license for the use of animal models in research will be preferred titles.
Physical activity protocol to counteract the effects of sarcopenia in older people. Sarcopenia is characterized by generalized and progressive loss of muscle mass, reduction in muscle strength and resultant functional impairment. It has been demonstrated that increased physical activity is positively associated with muscle mass. For this reason we will evaluate the benefits of a physical activity protocol to counteract the effects of sarcopenia in older people
Aim of this project is the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the cross-talk between cancer cells and their microenvironment. Specifically, it will be evaluated the role of tumor cell-derived exosomes and their 'cargo' (miRNAs, proteins) on adipocytes and immune cells (neutrophils) functions. This project aims to pave the way for the identification of tumor-derived exosomes as diagnostic, prognostic and drug resistance-predictive markers in oncological patients (i.e. melanoma and advanced prostate cancer patients) in terms of precision medicine.
Requisiti: High motivation for basic research. Basic preparation in the field of the biology of tumor cells. Knowledge of cell and molecular biology techniques
Autonomic nervous system assessment to optimize training in elite athletes and to optimize exercise prescription for cardio‐metabolic and cancer treatment/prevention
Requisiti: Knowledge at introductory level of exercise physiology, elements of physiology of autonomic nervous system and etiopathogenetic mechanisms of cardio‐metabolic diseases and cancer
Cytoskeleton actin binding proteins in the regulation of receptor tyrosine kinases signalling in endocrine tumors. Increasing evidence from our group support the relevance of the cytoskeleton in determining the biological behavior of endocrine tumors. The present project will investigate the role of actin binding proteins FLNA and cofilin in regulating specific receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) crucial in the development and progression of two endocrine malignant tumors, adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) and medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).
Requisiti: Cell culture; cell transfection and silencing; protein detection (western blot, co-/immunoprecipitation); cell imaging (fluorescence microscopy), biochemical assays (cell proliferation, apoptosis)
Cohesins involvement in pediatric tumors. Project aims at dissecting the functional role of cohesins mutations in etiology of pediatric tumors for assessing new possible therapeutic strategies.
Nanotechnological approaches for diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer. Nanomedicine is developing nanoparticle (NP)-based solutions for cancer diagnosis and therapy, to improve biodistribution and targeted-accumulation of drugs or diagnostic tracers. The project will develop protein NP, for tumor targeted delivery of drugs or fluorescent tracers, improving their therapeutic index and diagnostic accuracy, reducing toxicity and limiting drug-resistance. The NP will be characterized from a chemical and structural point of view and their interaction with biological systems will be studied in vivo and in vitro.
Requisiti: • Management of rodents, tissues and organs processing for imaging; design of biodistribution studies by in vivo fluorescence imaging and in vivo evaluation of activity / toxicity of nanoformulations. • Management of cancer cell lines and evaluations of interaction with nanoparticles by immunofluorescence, flow cytofluorimetry, luminescence or chromogenic specific assays. • Main biochemical techniques for protein nanoparticles bioengineering for development of drugs and fluorescent tracers
The damping within human joints and nearby tissues: its role in healthy and prothesic locomotion. Effects on mechanical external and internal work, and on the metabolic cost of walking, running, skipping and cycling. Partitioning, within the dissipative internal mechanical work, between prosthesis and connective tissue components, by means of passive limb oscillation studies and pendulum mechanical models.
Requisiti: Knowledge of Physiology and Biomechanics of muscle and locomotion, software programming in Labview (National Instruments).
Induction of cancer cell death is an important strategy for killing cancer cells. Cancer cells typically develop resistance to apoptosis via defective caspase activity owing to gene mutation or silencing. Cell death processes such as necroptosis and paraptosis are of great interest in the oncological field, as the activation of these type of death could affect the apoptosis-resistant tumor cells. The proposed study aims to analyze the role of natural compounds on these nonapoptotic forms of programmed cell death in different "in vitro" models of human tumors in order to increase the therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge in cell culture and molecular and cellular biology.
Elucidating the Mechanism of Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Thalassemia: A New Therapeutic Target. Oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is considered to be one of the main contributors to cell injury and tissue damage in thalassemia patients. Studies have suggested that ROS generation in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT) patients occurs as a result of iron overload and anemia. ROS sources in patients with NTDT remain poorly understood. This project aims at identifying the exact source of ROS in a mouse model of NTDT, in order to target and inhibit the production of these sources, thereby alleviating oxidative damage and improving overall complications. We also aim to confirm and translate the in vivo murine data to humans by evaluating a cohort of NTDT patients. We expect that the results could offer novel therapeutic approaches for thalassemia syndromes.
Role of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) deregulation in resistance to Temozolomide (TMZ) in glioblastoma. Experiments in patient derived cells and couples of syngeneic lines (sensitive and resistant to TMZ treatment) will be aimed at clarifying the role of CMA in the induction of cytotoxicity after TMZ, trying to explain the relation between resistance and CMA deregulation. Treatments capable of modulating this process will be evaluated both in vitro and in animal models of glioblastoma with the aim of reverting Temozolomide resistance. Non-invasive optical imaging techniques will be used to follow key processes in the animal model over time.
Requisiti: Knowledge of the basic elements of molecular oncology; ability to work in a group; curiosity and originality.
Development of biomarkers for the evaluation of red blood cell turnover. In patients with chronic hemolytic anemia red blood cell population is younger respect to healthy controls, while in subjects with untreated iron-deficiency anemia the mean red blood cell age is increased due to the slowed release of reticulocytes. The project is aimed to the development of biomarkers of red blood cell age, by studying proteins and metabolites related to red cell turnover, with the possible use of mouse models of type 2 diabetes.
Requisiti: Competences in the measurement of cellular metabolites and enzymes
Study of the activity of HSP90 inhibitors as new leishmanicidal and antimalarial agents. Evaluation of the effect of HSP90 modulation in different stages of development of the two parasites.
Requisiti: Knowledge of basic elements of cellular biology
Biomechanics and bioenergetics of human locomotion in simulated hypogravity. The analysis of metabolic cost and mechanical work of human gaits in simulated hypogravity will define and optimize the gait choices during different tasks on celestial bodies with lower gravity than on Earth.
Requisiti: Knowledge of muscle and locomotion physiology and biomechanics; skills in data analysis also with purposely written software.
Assessment of arterial endothelial damage and cardiovascular risk in patients with hemophilia. New treatments of hemophilia are changing the natural history of the disease and its comorbidities. Therefore, the risk of developing ischemic cardiovascular complications in these patients is worthy of attention. The aim of the study is to assess the incidence of cardiovascular events, atherosclerosis and endothelial damage and to estimate the association of ultrasound and laboratory parameters with the risk of the onset of arterial cardiovascular events and bleeding.
Requisiti: The candidate must be have experience in hematology field, with particular emphasis on haemostasis and thrombosis. He/she must have basic knowledge of clinical epidemiology.
Despite recent advances in diagnostic method and treatment, coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the primary cause of morbidity and mortality. It is widely accepted that genetic factors play an essential role in its development. The aim of this project is to investigate the genotypic and phenotypic risk factors associated with prognosis for coronary artery disease in the young (Iranians) with the purpose to identify predictive biomarkers and new molecular targets.
Requisiti: The candidate must have significant experience in Molecular Biology and bioinformatics skills in genomic data analysis. Study/work experience abroad and publications will be considered.
The most important complication in severe hemophilia A is the formation of persistent neutralizing antibodies against factor (F) VIII, called inhibitors, which render treatment ineffective. Previous data suggest that the concomitant presence of different anti-FVIII IgG subclasses is associated with an up to 3-fold higher risk of inhibitor persistence. The aim of this project is to validate the predictive value of IgG subclasses on the persistence of inhibitors. The ultimate goal of such study would thus be to identify patients likely to develop persistent inhibitors in order to tailor therapy modalities.
Requisiti: The candidate must have experiences in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He/she must have had experience of study/work abroad.
Role of the small airways in the physiopathology of pulmonary diseases, with particular reference to the effects of small airways cyclic opening and closing in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Requisiti: Knowledge of respiratory physiology, biophysics and/or biomechanics.
In vitro and in vivo study of disturbances of the acid-base balance in critically ill patients and comparison with data collected from non-critical and healthy volunteer patients. Role of hydro-electrolytic alterations, plasma proteins and hemoglobin on the acid-base balance.
Requisiti: Good knowledge of the physiology of the acid-base balance and of the following methods: blood and plasma tonometry, blood gas analysis. Interest in chromatographic and spectrophotometric techniques for the study of the protein structure
Extracorporeal techniques for organ support in respiratory and renal failure. Development and evaluation of new extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal and dialysis techniques. Optimization of efficiency and biocompatibility
Requisiti: Good knowledge of human physiology and extracorporeal supports
Study of factors influencing platelet thrombus formation in patients with immune thrombocytopenia. The project plans to set up a microfluidic platform for in vitro analysis of platelet thrombus formation in patients with immune thrombocytopenia. The system will be composed of perfusion chambers developed to simulate the conditions of the blood flow, and the thromboformation will be evaluated, under varying analytical conditions.
Requisiti: Previous laboratory experience with knowledge of the main biochemistry
Physiological regulatory mechanisms and development of postsurgical adverse events. Network Physiology (NP) is an emerging field of computational physiology and bioengineering that allows to study the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular regulatory systems and their dynamical interactions. The project will evaluate associations between the functioning of physiological control mechanisms, as assessed via typical NP methods before major cardiac surgery, and the development of postoperative cardiovascular and cerebrovascular adverse events.
Requisiti: Expertise in biomedical signal processing and statistics
Physiological mechanisms of cardiac neural control during physical exercise and recovery. An impairment of the cardiac neural control during physical exercise and recovery phase can expose the subject to the risk of arrhythmic events. The project will use advanced time series analysis techniques for the indirect assessment of the cardiac neural control during maximal physical exercise and the return to baseline situation.
Requisiti: Expertise in biomedical signal processing and statistics
Role of sphingolipids in the mechanism of repair of damaged myelin, with focus on multiple sclerosis.
Requisiti: Knowledge of the basics of sphingolipid biochemistry. Knowledge of the techniques of cell culture.
Mitochondrial DNA instability: an integrated approach for neurological disorders and innate immune response. Basic and advanced techniques in the field of molecular genetics, cellular biology and biochemistry will be used: 1) to identify novel molecular defects in patients displaying altered mitochondrial DNA homeostasis; 2) to investigate the stress response primed by mitochondrial DNA release into the cytosol and the extracellular space.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge in cell culture and in molecular biology, curiosity, motivation.
Actigraphy based evaluation of rest-activity circadian rhythm and sleep quality in breast cancer women with BRCA mutations.
Impact of physical activity on muscular and adipose tissue homeostasis: many metabolic changes associated with physical activity can be influenced by the genetic background of each individual. The identification of genetic marker improving the benefic effects of sport activity may enable detection of the best programs of physical training that combined with caloric restriction can maximize the body weight reduction in obese subjects. This study wants to identify genetic variants (SNP, miRNA) with a positive association between metabolic activation and genetic conditioning of athletic predisposition.
Research of biomarkers useful to define the compensative responses to acute and chronic hypoxia, with a focus on iron metabolism, oxidative stress and endothelial responses. Analysis of biological samples of hypoxic patients (COVID pneumonia, acute respiratory failure from other causes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Development and use of in vitro models for potential therapies to fight hypoxia.
Artificial intelligence for cardiovascular imaging biomarkers
Requisiti: Basic knowledge of techniques for radiomics and machine/deep learning
Optimization of contrast media utilization in medical imaging
Requisiti: Basic knowledge of medical imaging techniques and contrast media
Three-dimensional analysis of human movement in health, disease and sports
Requisiti: Basic information of the anatomy of the human locomotor system and biomechanics
Lipid metabolism alteration in Cystic Fibrosis: inflammation, response to infection and diabetes development
Lipid metabolism in tissue remodelling after lung transplant in Cystic Fibrosis patients
Lipid metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases
Age and gender factors influencing the susceptibility to severe malaria. Deadly severe malaria is due to vascular sequestration of infected red blood cell and cytokine unbalance. To investigate the contribution of gender, age and innate immunity to the severity of the disease, the effects of cytokines, sex hormones or drugs an in vitro cellular 3D model of parasite sequestration will be investigated. The results will be correlated with patient’s clinical data to propose new adjunctive treatments.
Requisiti: Basic knowledge in cell culture, immunostaining, molecular biology, immunology.
Role of immune system in muscle homeostasis. This project will determine the role of the immune system in muscular dystrophies. First, we will use a combination of loss-of-function methods that specifically targeted regulatory T cells (Tregs) to examine if Tregs regulate the pathogenesis and progression of muscular dystrophy. Then, we will induce experimental immune tolerance by thymus transplantation and evaluate the effect of genetic or pharmacological interference with dendritic cells (DCs) cascade on disease severity. The final aim of this project is to provide an in-depth analysis of the role of central and peripheral immunity on muscular dystrophy that should be beneficial to the development of future therapeutic strategies.
Requisiti: Knowledge of in vitro and in vivo cellular and molecular biology and experience in muscular dystrophy models.
Dissecting inflammasome/cholesterol axis in antiviral immune responses. 1. Evaluation of inflammasome/cholesterol axis in primary macrophages exposed in vitro to enveloped viruses (HIV, HBV,HCV); 2. Effects of anti-HIV therapy suspension on cholesterol metabolism in primary monocyte/macrophages; 3. Effects of therapy with thiazolides on NLRP3 inflammasome activity and on cholesterol metabolism in chronic HIV-infected patients
Requisiti: Knowledge of cellular and molecular immunology with omics approach
From genetics to the clinic: personalized medicine for liver disease. Aim: to identify and characterize genetic variants predisposing to hepatic fat accumulation and liver disease progression by exploiting NGS analyses in large cohorts. Functional studies will be conducted both in vitro, exploiting genome-editing strategies, and in vivo to understand the biological mechanisms underlying the genetic association. Results could improve patients risk stratification and identify novel therapeutic targets for NAFLD in a precision medicine perspective.
Requisiti: Experience in the field of clinical/translational research or molecular biology.
To assess whether the magnitude and aetiology of neuromuscular fatigue are similar between upper- and lower-limb muscles of the same subjects during different types of exercises. This by studying the changes both in the corticospinal and in the muscle excitability and with a translational approach.
Innovative and alternative therapeutical approaches for drug-resistant epilepsy
Extracorporeal supports for ex-vivo and in-situ organ perfusion. Optimization and development of extracorporeal supports for the evaluation and reconditioning of solid organs before transplantation.
Requisiti: Good knowledge of human physiology and supports for organ perfusion


Places available: 18

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Application for admission: from 08/07/2020 to 14/09/2020

Application for matriculation: from 12/10/2020 to 16/10/2020

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