PhD programmes

Current year courses

PhD in Biotechnology
All activities run in english.



The PhD in Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary PhD program focused on basic and applied research in relation to living beings and their use in the agro-industrial field. In particular, the PhD program in Biotechnology studies the genetic, proteomic, metabolic and physiological characteristics of different living beings and their interaction with the external environment.
The various topics related to the biological, chemical, agricultural and engineering areas are therefore addressed in order to develop a basic research in the biotechnological field, then used as a flywheel for the implementation of applied research in different industrial sectors. In addition, the PhD program in Biotechnology provides students with skills related to the acquisition and treatment of "Big Data" through the use of DNA and RNA sequencing platforms, proteomics and metabolomics methodologies applied to both model and non-model species.
 
The Ph.D. in Biotechnology provides the student with:
• the theoretical and experimental skills required for biotechnological training;
• the addresses and motivations necessary for the investigative efforts to be addressed also on applicative problems relevant both for methodological and industrial purposes, or for public health and / or the environment.
 
The PhD course includes the learning of the basic disciplines for the interpretation of fundamental biological phenomena and provides the addresses and motivations necessary for the investigative efforts to be addressed on important application problems for the agro-food sector, public health, and the environment.
In particular, the PhD program in Biotechnology aims at acquiring the theoretical foundations and the methodological knowledge to carry out research activities in the field of various biotechnological sciences sectors, involving chemical, biochemical, physiological, genetic, microbiological, bioinformatic and engineering disciplines. Specifically, the main areas of research concern the exploration of the structure, function and regulation of the genome of microbial, plant and animal organisms, including humans; the development of models to evaluate the effects of interactions between environmental factors and genetic factors; the study of the structure / function relationship of macromolecules of biological interest; the study of the structure and function of proteins for the understanding of biological processes, also through the application of bioinformatic and biophysical methods; the development of applications and the analysis of the regulation of the proteome of living organisms; the analysis of the metabolome of various organisms and the use of biomolecules for nutraceutical purposes; the processes of analysis of the quality and control of food safety; microbiological applications in the agri-food sector; the development of innovative biotechnological processes through the use of plants and micro-organisms; the processes for the production of bio-energies and bio-fuels both from photosynthetic organisms and from civil and industrial waste; the characterization of the response of microbial and plant organisms to environmental factors with the aim of improving their productivity and resistance to stress and their use in reclamation processes; oenology and viticulture.
 
The PhD program is characterized by a strong international characterization, with PhD scholarships funded through European projects, research activities in collaboration with international institutes and research institutions and the provision of funds to allow students to carry out research periods 'abroad. For each doctoral student a minimum period of three months is foreseen for research activities at institutes or research institutions abroad.
 
The PhD program in Biotechnology is supported by the PhD School in Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Verona, through which the students of the course have access to interdisciplinary training activities and transversal methodological seminars.
 
Expected employment and professional opportunities
The PhD in Biotechnology trains professional figures who in the first instance are destined to independently carry out research activities in the various scientific-cultural areas covered by the course. The Ph.D. in Biotechnology prepare researcher for their university career or research activity in public and private research centers.
 

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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