PhD in Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment

Academic Year 2020-2021
Subject area Mathematical Physical, Chemical and Astronomical Sciences
Cycle 36
Coordinator Prof. Dario Braga
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 9 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2020 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 01, 2020 to Jul 13, 2020
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2020
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician" - CHIM
Associated Departments
Department of Industrial Chemistry "Toso Montanari" - CHIMIND
Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi" - DIFA
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine - DIMES
Mobility abroad
3 months
Research topics

The PhD in "Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" supports research projects dealing with the relation between Nanoscience and Health, considering both "human health and environmental health". Two different thematic areas are planned:

1. Nanoscience for Medicine

  • Interactions between nanostructures and biomolecules/cellular structures
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Nanostructures, solid pharmaceutical hybrids formulations, crystalline polymorphism of active pharmaceutical ingredients
  • Nanostructures and nanoformulations for high bioavailability administration of nutrients and bioactive molecules
  • Use of artificial molecular machines in biomimetic systems
  • Development of theranostic nanoplatforms
  • Design of nanostructurated materials for the development of (multimodal) imaging contrast agent
  • Nanostructured organic semiconductors for sensor applications
  • Nanobiosensing for "point-of-care" and personalized medicine
  • Nanostructures for regenerative medicine
  • Cellular nanoengineering
  • Nanotoxicology and technologies for "safety by design"


2. Nanoscience for the Environment

  • Photo and/or electrocatalysts for water and air remediation or for the production of energy using "solar fuels"
  • Nanobiosensing for environmental monitoring
  • Nanostructured photo and/or electrocatalysts for the reduction of CO2 in high energy density products
  • Development of innovative synthesis for the production of nanocatalysts active in the sustainable transformation of biomass into chemicals
  • Nanostructured platforms for the development of membranes for "water remediation"
  • New materials for the conversion and storage of solar energy using molecular machines
  • Nanoecotoxicology
  • Life cycle analysis (LCA) of the production and use of nanomaterials


Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
The integration of different disciplines and the involvement of five Departments within the PhD in "Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" will have a strong impact on the professional level and will allow:
- development of highly interdisciplinary training
- answering to the needs of a labour market in advanced technology sectors, which increasingly requires multi-disciplinary skills.
The nanosciences are having a tremendous impact on many industrial sectors and are considered among the key development objectives by all major industrialized countries of the world. The global market for nanotechnology products for medicine and the environment will reach 85 billion euro in 2021, from 37 billion already invested in 2016, with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2%. The main employment and career opportunities related to the PhD in "Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" are provided by the world of research at public institutions (universities, research institutes) or private (laboratories, industry, spin-off, etc.). Nanoscience is indeed a strategic objective in applied research at national and international level and represents one of the subjects characterizing H2020 with numerous funding opportunities through dedicated calls within the NMP (Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies), and Health and Energy funding schemes. The training offered by this Doctorate (such as courses on scientific communication and intellectual property) also opens up new and interesting employment prospects as consultants in technology transfer, and as consultant to businesses and market associations, to governmental and European agencies, as well as communication experts and as expert in research exploitation, and intellectual property protection, and, last but not least, as entrepreneurs.
Admission Board

Surname Name Institution Role e-mail
Bonafè Massimiliano Università di Bologna member
Cramer Tobias Università di Bologna member
Michelini Elisa Università di Bologna member
Orlandi Silvia Università di Bologna member
Cavalcoli Daniela Università di Bologna substitute
Garagnani Paolo Università di Bologna substitute
Giorgetti Marco Università di Bologna substitute
Rampazzo Enrico Università di Bologna substitute
Learning outcomes
The PhD course "Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" aims to build a large area of advanced teaching and research centred on nanosciences and on their applications in medicine and the environment. The doctorate has its fundamental objective in the development of a multidisciplinary approach to the nanosciences, at the interface between chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, environmental and food research.
This PhD has, as its primary objective, that of crossing the “jargon” barriers in order to construct cultural connections between the various disciplines, integrating scientific communities with very different methodologies and approaches, with the awareness that innovations in this area can only take place in a fully interdisciplinary context.
The integration of the diverse scientific areas will thus provide the opportunity to design and develop common research projects thanks to multidisciplinary / interdisciplinary approaches.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
The type of training offered in the proposed PhD is training through research. The students will take part in training courses based on frontal lessons although the most relevant part of the training will be attained by working on specific experimental research projects with basic and / or applied objectives also in collaboration with public or private international research institutions.
The "hands on" training in these areas will allow the doctoral student to experience directly the planning of experiments, collecting and processing data, as well as the drafting of reports and publications. The training will also include science communication, "scientific writing", exploitation of intellectual property and training in scientific project writing in order to gain skill to apply for public and private research grants.
The PhD student research activity will rely on collaborative projects between the various components of the PhD to attain a high interaction and integration of the research while maintaining a high level of specialization
The overall objective of the training of PhD students will therefore be the development of analytical and experimental expertise and the acquisition of skills, which will be at the same time
- broad and interdisciplinary across the whole field of nanosciences
- specific about issues concerning specific nanoscience applications.
In this way, students will be able to develop an interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary and non-sectoral approach to the chemical, physical, medical, and agricultural sciences.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
The PhD course guarantees a training characterized by multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, offering basic teaching in chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, environmental and food science.
The PhD in “Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" will provide basic teachings about nanoscience to which all students are expected to attend and a series of more applicative courses, dealing with specific topics related to the two thematic areas ( 1. Nanoscience for Medicine, 2. Nanoscience for the Environment).
During the three-year PhD period each student must acquire CFU attending the courses offered in the doctoral program or chosen between those offered in the University courses or University masters.
PhD students are expected to participate to seminars and workshops, organized by the Departments or by the Institute of Advanced Studies.
Finally, the PhD students must attend to at least one school and at national and international conferences.
Internationalization features
The doctoral course in "Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment", guarantees a research environment of the highest level open to international collaboration. The internationalization of the training will be favoured by operating at various levels:

- All teaching and evaluation tests will be carried out in English.
- The PhD student will be required to attend seminars delivered by international visiting professors and researchers.

- The active participation of PhD students in international research projects and other scientific initiatives of choice will be favoured.
- Strong support will be provided to ensure training in the preparation and management of European ad extra-European international research projects.

- All PhD students will be expected to spend at least three months in a foreign lab characterized by scientific excellence.
- All PhD students will be expected to participate actively in international schools and meetings giving talks and presenting posters on their research.

- The PhD course will be advertised internationally in order to attract good candidates holding master degrees granted by foreign universities.
- The possibility of co-tutelle in collaboration with foreign institutions is envisaged.
- Participation in international mobility programmes (e.g. Programma Erasmus Mundus, Scienze Senza Frontiere, China Scholarship Council) will be explored in order to obtain further financial support for PhD fellowships.
Expected research results and products
The products and the expected results of the research activity of PhD students are those recognized by the international scientific community. In particular, at least two products related to participation in national and international conferences or schools (e.g., posters, oral presentations, publication of reports, etc.) are expected during the three-year PhD period for each student. The achievement of this goal will be assessed during the periodical evaluations of the PhD students’ activity. It is also expected that during the PhD period, and in any case within one year after the conclusion of the doctorate, each student has produced - as author or co-author - at least two publications (or possibly patents) related to the research activity.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
Braga Dario Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Bonafè Massimiliano Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Calvaresi Matteo Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Cavalcoli Daniela Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Credi Alberto Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Fanti Stefano Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Garavelli Marco Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Giorgetti Marco Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Grepioni Fabrizia Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Mazzoni Rita Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Michelini Elisa Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Pasquini Luca Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Rapino Stefania Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Sanna Samuele Università di Bologna Ricercatore Confermato
Stagni Stefano Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Zaccheroni Nelsi Università di Bologna Professore Associato