PhD programmes

Current year courses

PhD in Biotechnology
All activities run in english.

The PhD in biotechnology will provide the students with
  • skills, both theoretical and experimental, needed for their biotechnological education;  
  • the orientation and motivations for directing their investigations towards practical problems relevant for industry, public health and / or the environment.
Since basic and applied research are synergic in biotech area, the PhD course is organized in two curricula: " Industrial and environmental molecular biotechnology " and "Applied Biotechnology" so as to clarify the candidates the direction of their thesis project. In either case the students could draw on the expertise of teachers of both curricula and have the opportunity to choose an additional tutor who could provide a critical complementary view to the supervision of the training project.
 
The curriculum in MOLECULAR, INDUSTRIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY recruits candidates familiar with the basic disciplines such as mathematics, physics and informatics, physiology and genetics such as to enable deep understanding of fundamental biological phenomena. The PhD candidate will develop a solid competence in chemical, biological and technical disciplines, including chemistry, molecular biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and plant-processing, aimed at the development of productive systems based on the use of organisms and the management and optimization of molecular and biochemical processes. The training projects will focus in the field of bio-energy and bio-fuels from both municipal and industrial waste and from photosynthetic organisms. During this PhD the student will have to gain the ability to set up and conduct, in a independent way, a research in one of the disciplines identified by the different areas indicated below, with particular attention to industrial applicability of scientific results. He will be able to compete  with PhDs in Life Sciences, Forest, Agricultural and Food science and technology, Chemical Science and Technology, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Industrial Engineering . This curriculum takes advantage from the participation principal investigators to national and international research projects including algal engineering for biofuels and high value products.
 
The Applied Biotechnology Curriculum includes trainings basic science and laboratory experiences. Specific skills and abilities will be developed concerning the specific field of research for the individual project. The methods used are those of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and applied biology. The project can be developed in different fields: exploration  of structure and regulation of genome of microbial organisms, plants, animals, including humans, in order to study the function and/or the development of possible systems or methods for their application in biotechnology; development of models to analyze the interactions effects between environmental factors and genetic factors on the incidence and prevalence of disease; study of the structure/function of biological macromolecules, including the aim of engineering for to improved the industrial performance;  quality control and food safety, microbiological applications in the food and agricultural field, development of biotechnological processes to improve plant of agricultural interest; development of innovative biotechnological products using plants and microorganisms for human health and for the environmental protection. The training is also enriched by the positive relationship between the academic world and the viticulture and oenological territory of Verona with the aim to make qualified PhDs which can also work in the grape cultivation and wine industry.This curriculum takes advantage from the participation principal investigators to national and international research projects including:  the characterization and functional analysis of the grapevine genome and the microbial components in the wine industry; the identification of genetic systems in response to pathogens, the study of the genetic and physiological parameters involved in the berry maturation; the development of specific microorganisms in musts and base wines.

Courses not currently running

Doctoral Program in molecular, industrial and environmental Biotechnologies Course partially running (all years except the first)
The Doctoral Program in Biotechnology should have solid background in the founding biological, chemical and technical areas of the field as well as an adequate familiarity with the basic sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science so as to be able to correctly interpret the phenomena related to the behavior of organisms and processes that he should be in a position to develop and govern. The graduate should be competent in the control of different kinds of processes, biological, chemical, biochemical-molecular, microbiological and plant building. His goal should be, in the first place, the development of productive systems based on the use of living organisms and the control of their biochemical processes. During the training period the student should acquire the ability to start and carry out autonomously research in one of the areas of the different curricula with a special focus on the industrial applicability of the results obtained. This professional will be of comparable qualification as a student graduated in Biological Sciences, Food and Agricultural Science, Chemical Science and Technology, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology and Industrial Engineering. The graduate will be in a position to discuss with his peers in related fields both problems related to basic research as well as to the development of products and processes.
PhD in Nanotechnology and Nanostructured Materials for Biomedical Applications (last intake in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
The PhD in Nanotechnology and Nanostructured Materials for Biomedical Applications is connected to the Graduate School in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and is aimed to form experts in the planning, development, improvement and application of Nanotechnology and nanostructured materials to biomedical issues.
To guarantee the achievement of these targets, the PhD students will be involved in several experimental research activities, such as preparation of nanostructured materials and its optimization, the measurements of their chemical and physical properties and their application to biomedical topics. A notable skill in the collection of experimental data and their elaboration will be gained during the PhD program. Many measurement techniques will be used, as scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), optical spectroscopy (absorption and emission), vibrational microspectroscopy (Raman and infrared), monodimensional and bidimensional proteomic, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), mutation/polymorphism screening, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, DNA sequencing and microarray. Through a proper training using such techniques, the PhD student will be able to directly perform experiments, collect and elaborate the experimental data and write out scientific reports and publications to be submitted to international journals.
At the end of the program, the Philosophy Doctors will gain all the needed competences and skills in different scientific fields such as chemistry, physics, biology and medicine. The Doctors will have the ability to plan and carry out autonomously a research activity in the field of Nanotechnology and nanomaterials for biomedical applications.

Research fields:
- synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of nanostructured materials and multimodal contrast agents
- preparation of nanocrystalline thin films
- investigation on the structural and vibrational properties of functionalized nanostructured materials
- superficial nanoengineering
- cellular nanoengineering
- functional analysis of biological interfaces
- tracers production
- development of biosensors for cellular activation
- cell targeting
PhD Program in Applied Biotechnologies Course partially running (all years except the first)
The PhD in Applied Biotechnology refers to the Graduate School of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and is divided in two curricula:
AGRO-INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY curriculum aims to basic, methodological and experimental training of the researcher and/or operator in the complex and innovative field of applied biotechnology. The specific research project can be developed in the following areas: food quality and safety control, production chain tracking, quality of vegetable productions, microbiological applications in the agro-food field, development of biotechnological processes to improve agricultural plants, development of innovative biotechnological products by using plants and microrganisms for human health and environmental protection; studies into the structure and functions of biologically interesting macro-molecules, also in view of the production of molecules with improved characteristics of industrial interest.
VINE GROWING AND WINE MAKING BIOTECHNOLOGY curriculum, originated. from the positive relationship between the academic world and the Verona vine and wine producing areas, aims to the training of research doctors with qualified skills and basic scientific knowledge that they can transmit, in the short-medium term, to vine cultivation and local, national and international wine making industry. The research training involves the participation of the teachers in national and international research projects, that currently deal with the characterisation and functional analysis of the genoma of the vine and the microbic components that are present and active in the wine production chain, in order to produce scientific knowledge, molecular and technological instruments, and define theoretic models which could be exploited to the benefit of Italian and international vine growing and wine making. Other areas in which the research project can be developed are: identification of genetic response systems to the pathogenes; study of the genetic and physiological parameters that regulate grape ripening during maturing and over-maturing phases; development of specific microorganisms in must and wines.

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