Advanced Therapies and Experimental Pharmacology

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Admission: academic qualifications and interview
  • Coordinator: Prof. Katia Varani
  • Head office: University of Ferrara
  • Final Ph.D title: PhD Doctor in Advanced Therapies and Experimental Pharmacology
  • Managing Department: Translational Medicine
  • Educational purpose:

The PhD program in Advanced Therapies and Experimental Pharmacology involves the interaction between basic research laboratories and skills in integrated clinical surgery, and general and specialized medicine. It is aimed at the preparation of professionals with high pre-clinical and clinical skills in the field of innovative treatments through synthetic, biological and biotechnological drugs and by using the study, development and application of cellular, tissue and gene therapies, in view of a possible inclusion in both public and private work areas. The course is characterized by a strong innovation especially due to the distinctly translational nature of the investigative approaches that will be develop against those diseases associated with serious risks of reduced quality of life. The activities of the PhD course are aimed at developing interdisciplinary pharmacological and biomedical research skills in the field of health science, from the molecular approach to tackling problems of high medical relevance through experimental clinical studies aimed at improving diagnosis and therapy of various pathologies. Through the conception, design, implementation, analysis and writing of research projects, the PhD graduate will be able to integrate and use the knowledge acquired in order to develop advanced technical skills, independent judgment and fundamental decision-making skills to cover multiple professional roles of high scientific profile.

The title of PhD in Advanced Therapies and Experimental Pharmacology will provide useful professional skills not only for the research sector, but can also be used in management and organization activities at public and private institution related to research. The skills acquired can be used in Italy and abroad in various fields, such as: a) in research laboratories of universities and other public or private research institutions and foundations, both national and international; b) pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry; c) consulting service centers; d) editorial committees of national and international scientific journals.

  • Educational Plan:

The PhD program in Advanced Therapies and Experimental Pharmacology is organized to allow the deepening of issues related to basic, applied and translational experimental research, a high qualification in the cellular, morphological, biomolecular, pharmacological and epidemiological fields through innovative projects using cutting edge technologies. In the clinical sector, the training program is aimed at research in integrated clinical surgery, and general and specialized medicine.

In particular, the training program is dedicated to the prospects of scientific and technological progress to improve the care management of patients affected by the most common and important diseases. Advanced cell or tissue therapies represent the most innovative interventional approaches for numerous pathologies that through these regenerative medicine strategies can be treated in an effective and minimally invasive way. The study of epidemiology and biostatistics will allow to facilitate the development of new computerized data analysis methods that provide multidisciplinary biomedical investigative approaches conceived through the sharing of internet or intranet platforms with artificial intelligence functionality and dedicated to the identification of biomarkers related to both risk factors or aggravation of systemic or specialist pathologies and in monitoring the efficacy and safety profiles of innovative drugs and/or therapeutic protocols.

It is planned to articulate the didactic and experimental activities according to a training path that promotes the acquisition of multidisciplinary and integrated knowledge within the different biomedical sectors that characterize the Academic Board. This program aims to provide basic physiopathological knowledge, with particular attention to molecular and cellular biology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and new therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, it is intended to provide specific skills to deal with basic and clinical experimental problems in the study of the most common diseases present in the population.

The training of PhD students will be completed through the preparation of scientific reports on annual basis, participation in research programs and in National and International Congresses.

The program of lectures, seminars and traineeships is mainly held by members of the Academic Board and by experts from prestigious national and international institutions or by companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The scientific training course is based on the experimental work carried out mainly in the laboratories of the Departments belonging to the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Prevention under the supervision of the teachers and tutors. The research sectors involved include many aspects of the most advanced basic research in Experimental Pharmacology and of modern clinical and applied research in Advanced Therapies (cellular, tissue and gene therapies). The research activity could be supplemented by a period of training abroad at foreign universities and research centers and by internships in Italy at public or private institution regularly agreed.

  • Research topics:

Cell Therapies, Tissue Therapies and Gene Therapies; Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics; Development and analysis of new Drug Targets; identification of Biomarkers; Translational Medicine; Precision Medicine, Metabolism and Cellular Mechanisms; Molecular basis of Pathologies; Cellular and Tissue Morphology; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Analysis of clinical and imaging data using Artificial Intelligence strategies (machine learning and deep learning).