PhD Programme

PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Director, Professor Gerry Melino

The doctorate program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) is designed to prepare students for productive careers in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; the emphasis is in offering a deep training in basic as well as in translational research, and each student works closely with staff members. Student have a primary supervisor as well as an independent second supervisor. The training is performed in the following departments: (i) Experimental Medicine (Faculty of Medicine); (ii) Biology and (iii) Chemical Sciences and Technologies (Faculty of Science). In addition, we offer practical experience in foreign international research Institutions such as the Medical Research Council in the UK. The BMB graduate research training is interdisciplinary, with a concentration in one or more of the following areas: Molecular Dinamics, Computational Biology, Drug Design, Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Enzimology, Cell Death Biochemistry, Clinical Biochemistry, Oncogenes and Onco-suppressors, Skin Diffentiation and Skin Deseases, Biotecnology, Regulation of Transcription, Cell Cycle Regulation, microRNA, Pathology. The protocols, methods and experimental approaches used to address questions within these areas range from basic and advanced molecular biology, protein chemistry, cell biology and biophysics techniques to those of molecular and developmental genetics.

The PhD program in BMB enables the PhD students to achieve the best possible experience in research and training, in order to allow them to obtain a future career. We train the students, both at the technological and theoretical level, in making a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, leading to peer-reviewed international publications, which remains the core objective of the doctoral studies.  The PhD program in BMB includes several innovative measures designed to support students in achieving the academic and professional activities. The PhD program last 3 years full-time to complete. The PhD students have to publish at least one scientific article in an international peer-reviewed journal. The final examination for the degree of PhD is based on a description of the candidate’s research written up as theses. The theses will be evaluated by three external experts in the specific research topic. The thesis will be defended in a oral examination by a specific designed committee.
In addition the students are required to:
A)    Take yearly exams: Structural Biology (first year); Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry (second year); Advanced Molecular Biology (third year).
B)    Yearly, provide a written report and give an oral presentation on the state-of-the art of the on-going research proposal. The oral presentation is given to the doctorate faculty members.
C)    Monthly, present Journal Club.  Selected scientific articles will be presented and discussed to the other students and PhD faculty members to develop crtical thinking.
D)   Monthly attend mini-courses on specific topic (ie. statistics, bioinformatics, scientific writing,  scientific integrity) held by members of the PhD school faculty as well as by extyernal experts.
E)    Attend and participate actively to the department’s seminar program.
All students are strongly encouraged to attend foreign laboratories and meetings, as well as have long face-to-face scientific discussions with foreign visitors on their projects. In addition, we offer training in Editorial (The BMB PhD program is located in the same department with the Editorial Office of Springer Nature publisher in Rome) as well as Industrial areas.

The CORE FACULTY of the PhD degree includes professors CANDI Eleonora, CARBONE Michele, CORTESE Claudio, DESIDERI Alessandro, MAURIELLO Alessandro, MELINO Gerry, ROSATO Nicola,
AGOSTINI Massimiliano, BARBETTI Fabrizio, BERNASSOLA Francesca, BIANCHI Luca, BONANNO Elena, BOTTINI Massimo, CACCURI Anna Maria, CATANI Maria Valeria, GENTILESCHI Paolo, MEI Giampiero, MELINO Sonia Michela, MIANO Roberto, PORZIO Ottavia, SAVINI Isabella, SICA Giuseppe, TERRINONI Alessandro, AMELIO Ivano, ANEMONA Lucia, CAMPIONE Elena, DI VENERE Almerinda, FEZZA DI FILIPPO Filomena, GAMBACURTA Alessandra, GASPERI Valeria, PIRO Maria Cristina. In addition there are EXTERNAL FACULTY of the University: BLANDINO Giovanni, FINAZZI AGRO’ Alessandro, PESCHIAROLI Angelo, RASCHELLA’ Giuseppe, SODDU Silvia, as well a FOREIGN FACULTY: ANTONOV Alexej (UK), BANO Daniele (Germany), KNIGHT Richard A. (UK), MALEWICZ Micheal (Germany), NICOTERA Pierluigi (Germany), RUFINI Alessandro (UK), SALOMONI Paolo (Germany), WILLIS Anne (UK).

In the past years the PhD program allowed the development and establishment of several FORMER ALUMNI, currently working independently in several distinguished Institution. Examples of alumni:
Vincenzo DE LAURENZI (full professor, Univ Chieti), Eleonora CANDI (full professor Univ Tor Vergata), Andrew OBERST (associate professor Univ Washington, USA), Alessandro TERRINONI (associate professor Univ Tor Vergata), Anissa CHICK (lecturer, Univ London), Maria Victoria NIKLISON-CHIROU (lecturer, Univ Bath), Alessandro RUFINI (lecturer, Univ Leicester), Andrea PARADISI (PI, Cogniset, Argentina), Mario ROSSI (PI, Cogniset, Argentina).