PhD in Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment

Academic Year 2021-2022
Subject area Mathematical Physical, Chemical and Astronomical Sciences
Cycle 37
Coordinator Prof. Dario Braga
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 10 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 05, 2021 to Jul 15, 2021
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2021
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
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology - FaBiT
Mobility abroad
3 months
Research topics

The PhD programme in “Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" supports research proposals 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
  • Nanotoxycology 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
  • Nanoecotoxycology
  • 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 programme 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 programme 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 Doctoral programme (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 University/Institution Role email
Giorgetti Marco Università di Bologna Member
Pasquini Luca Università di Bologna Member
Rampazzo Enrico Università di Bologna Member
Soavi Francesca Università di Bologna Member
Boanini Elisa Università di Bologna Substitute
Garavelli Marco Università di Bologna Substitute
Genovese Damiano Università di Bologna Substitute
Sanna Samuele Università di Bologna Substitute

Stefano Toffanin (CNR ISMN - Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, shall take part in the work of the Examination Board as expert member.

Learning outcomes
The PhD programme "Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" aims to build a large area of advanced teaching and research centered on nanosciences and on their applications in medicine and the environment. The Doctoral programme 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 programme 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 proposals thanks to multidisciplinary / interdisciplinary approaches.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
The type of training offered in the proposed PhD programme is training through research. The PhD candidates 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 proposals 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 candidate 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 candidate research activity will rely on collaborative projects between the various components of the PhD programme 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 candidates 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, PhD candidates 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 programme guarantees a training characterized by multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, offering basic teaching in chemistry, physics, biology, medicine and environmental science. The PhD programme in “Nanoscience for Medicine and the Environment" will provide basic teachings about nanoscience to which all PhD candidates 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 PhD candidate must acquire course credits attending the courses offered in the Doctoral programme or chosen between those offered in the University courses or University masters. PhD candidates are expected to participate to seminars and workshops, organized by the Departments or by the Institute of Advanced Studies. Finally, the PhD candidates must attend to at least one school and at national and international conferences.
Internationalization features
The Doctoral programme 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 candidate will be required to attend seminars delivered by international visiting professors and researchers.

- The active participation of PhD candidates in international research proposals 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 proposals.

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

- The PhD programme 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 candidates 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 PhD candidate. The achievement of this goal will be assessed during the periodical evaluations of the PhD candidates' activity. It is also expected that during the PhD period, and in any case within one year after the conclusion of the Doctoral programme, each PhD candidate has produced - as author or co-author - at least two publications (or possibly patents) related to the research activity.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Name Surname University/Institution Qualification
Massimiliano Bonafè Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Dario Braga Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Matteo Calvaresi Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Daniela Cavalcoli Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Stefano Luciano Ciurli Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Alberto Credi Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Stefano Fanti Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Marco Garavelli Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Marco Giorgetti Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Rita Mazzoni Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Elisa Michelini Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Luca Pasquini Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Stefania Rapino Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Samuele Sanna Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Stefano Stagni Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Nelsi Zaccheroni Università di Bologna Professore Associato


Final Ranking list

Final Ranking list