PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Academic Year 2022-2023
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 38
Coordinator Prof. Vincenzo Scarlato
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years

Application deadline: Dec 14, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

2nd NRRP Call for Applications - Further PhD positions

Enrolment: From Jan 26, 2023 to Feb 06, 2023 - On, PhD candidates awarding NRRP positions should use NRRP forms only

Doctoral programme start date: Mar 01, 2023

NRRP loghi

Application deadline: Aug 02, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

NRRP Call for Applications

Enrolment: From Sep 21, 2022 to Sep 29, 2022 - On download NRRP forms only

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2022

NRRP loghi

Application deadline: Jun 09, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

Call for Applications

Positions: More information in the PhD Programme Table

Enrolment: From Jul 29, 2022 to Aug 29, 2022

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2022

Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology - FaBiT
Research topics
  • Cancer genome instability (Prof. Capranico)
  • Molecular biotechnology of phages for the development of theranostic vector platforms (Prof. Danielli)
  • Computational and functional genomics (Prof. Ferrè)
  • Computational transcriptomics of human gene networks (Prof. Giorgi)
  • Genomic analysis and molecular basis of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders (Prof. Maestrini, Prof. Bacchelli)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of neuropathologies (Prof. Monti)
  • Gene expression regulation in cancer (Prof. Perini)
  • Molecular characterization of solid tumors (Prof. De Biase)
  • Mitochondria dysfunctions in neurodegenerative diseases and mitochondria gene mutations in cancer (Prof. Porcelli, Prof. Ghelli)
  • Molecular and genetic basis of bacterial pathogenesis (Prof. Scarlato, Prof. Roncarati)
  • Molecular mechanisms of redox signalling and energy metabolism regulations in plants (Prof. Trost, Prof. Sparla)
  • Molecular and functional analyses of human and environmental microbial communities: interactions between microorganisms and habitat (Dott.ssa Cappelletti)
  • Structures, functions and interactions of metalloproteins (Prof. Zambelli)
  • Microbial and innate immune mechanisms at the start of infection (Prof. Oggioni)
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
The PhD will be able to:
- carry out research and development in public and private research institutions, and in biotech incubators
- coordinate activities in various fields of cell biology and biochemistry
- promote and develop scientific and technological innovation in the field of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, biomaterials and vaccines, as well as in the field of science communication
- carry out activities in laboratories of molecular diagnostic services and technical advice
- carry out activities in laboratories involved in the development of cellular or animal models for strategy and research
- fulfill the role of manager in public/private scientific institutions in the biomedical field (fund raising and intellectual property)
- launch biological/biotechnology spin-off
- teach in schools, once completed additional specific training
Admission Board

Call for Application, NRRP Call and NRRP Call for further PhD Positions
Appointed by RD 830/2022 Prot. n. 0127511 of 30/05/2022
Confirmed by RD 1103/2022 Prot. n. 0162873 of 17/07/2022
Confirmed by RD 952/2022 Prot. n. 0357333 of 02/12/2022

Surname Name University / Institution Role email
Porcelli Anna Maria Università di Bologna Member
Roncarati Davide Università di Bologna Member
Scarlato Vincenzo Università di Bologna Member
Sparla Francesca Università di Bologna Member
Capranico Giovanni Università di Bologna Substitute
Ghelli Anna Maria Università di Bologna Substitute
Giorgi Federico Manuel Università di Bologna Substitute
Trost Paolo Bernardo Università di Bologna Substitute

* The following shall take part in the work of the Examination Board as expert members for positions linked to specific research topics:

  • Paola Dalla Zorza - Depofarma SpA
  • Elisabetta Franchi - Eni SpA
Learning outcomes

The aim of the PhD program is to train a highly skilled professional capable to conduct scientific investigations, analyzing and interpreting experimental results, formulating and testing scientific hypotheses, communicating the results achieved, and in organizing and planning both basic and applied research issues driving modern Biology. The program consists of both lecture courses and research activities, and aims to provide students with more in-depth general knowledge of Cell and Molecular Biology. At the same time, it provides training in experimental research in a specific topic. The flexibility of the program allows the adaptation to the specific interests of each candidate, with training focusing in one of the many areas of modern biology.

Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates

Topics common to all the PhDs programs of the Department:

  • Scientific artwork for publication and presentations, hands-on course on Inkscape and GIMP (Win, MacOS & Linux), (12 hr). Lecturer: Prof. Alberto Danielli.
  • Basic course in Science of Laboratory Animals (12 hr) Organizers: Dr. Valentina Vasina, Prof. Barbara Monti.
  • Academic English Skills (AcES) (2 modules of 24 hr). Organizer: Centro Linguistico di Ateneo.
  • Introduction to research funded by the European Union and Enhancement Protection of Intellectual Property (6 hr). Organizer: ARIC - Dr. Simone Maccaferri / Dr. Maria Grazia Fumo

Specific courses for the PhD program:

  • Annual workshop on Research in Molecular and Cellular Biology (16 hr). Organizers: Prof. Vincenzo Scarlato / Prof. Davide Roncarati.
  • Calorimetry, light- scattering and circular dichroism: Theory and applications for the characterization of proteins in solution (12 hr). Lecturer: Prof. Barbara Zambelli.
  • Biocrystallography (16 hr). Lecturer: Dr. Luca Mazzei.
  • Methods to tackle chromatin architecture and function (10 hr). Lecturer: Dr. Giorgio Milazzo
  • Course on a specific topic of the doctoral thesis project (20 hours): Each teacher of the college will carry out specific courses on their research topic.

Seminars organised by the FABIT Department (30 hours/year taught by teachers/experts in the field). Organisers: Prof. Anna Maria Porcelli and Prof. Giovanni Capranico.
Interdisciplinary seminars organised by the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Bologna (20 hours/year held by teachers/experts in the field).
Tutoring activities in the teaching laboratory courses Degree and/or Master's Degree related to the research topics addressed (maximum 60 hours/year).

Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes

The training program includes activities common to all students, as well as individual and specific activities, aimed both at the acquisition of skills in planning, implementation, and critical interpretation of the obtained experiments, and at executing a specific research project decided in agreement with the faculty members of the PhD program. Candidates develop and consolidate their knowledge acquired through cycles of seminars, specific theoretical courses, participation in conferences, discussion of experimental results both within the research group (Journal clubs and date clubs) and within the Faculty with the participation of supervisors and all candidates.

Internationalization features

Each candidate will spend a period of time in a research institution abroad.
The attractiveness of the PhD program at the international level is good, with about 7% (2 out of 30) of foreign candidates enrolled in the last three cycles.

Expected research results and products

The PhD candidate must be an author of publications in scientific international journals with impact factor and/or of publications in international journals without impact factor and/or of chapters in books and/or of reports in the form of oral or poster presentation at international/national conferences and/or international/national patents.