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Ph.D. Program in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology

The Ph.D. program in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology offers advanced training to prepare students for research-based careers.
Our program embraces topics spanning all areas of biosciences and provides a rigorous, nimble biomedical education, equipping trainees with tools to bring about scientific breakthroughs and to launch entrepreneurial paths in academics and industry.
Research projects are embedded in an arena of cutting-edge core facilities and the proximity of the hospital offers a unique interface between basic and clinical research. Faculty members and trainees with common interests work together to advance research in their field and participate in training activities tailored to the diversity of career trajectories for today’s Ph.Ds.

The Ph.D. Program in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology is organized by the Novara Medical School (UPO) and benefits from outstanding research laboratories located at:

Our mission is to train future leaders in the field of biomedical sciences providing students with the tools to conduct original research and the ability to develop novel approaches and new technologies to address fundamental biological questions. Every year, the Ph.D. program enrolls a small number of students to allow attentive supervision from members of the permanent faculty, but also guidance from a respected network of affiliate and visiting professors through collaborations with prestigious national and international partner universities.


The Ph.D. program offers two different curricula related to the following theme clusters: Autoimmune and allergic diseases and Neoplastic, metabolic, and age-related diseases.

Autoimmune and allergic diseases. This research activity is mainly developed at CAAD where a panel of high-throughput technologies are available, including proteomics, metabolomics, next-generation sequencing, and flow cytometry. This research platform is aimed at developing novel intervention strategies against autoimmune and allergic diseases through the generation of diagnostic and prognostic approaches to improve the classification of disease categories for better therapeutic targeting.

Neoplastic, metabolic, and age-related diseases. This curriculum includes a series of ongoing research projects at the Medical School in Novara that covers different aspects of these diseases, especially in the aged population (in the framework of the Department of Excellence in Aging Science). They are focused on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the molecular basis of disease, providing the students with a fundamental understanding of biochemical and genetic principles basic to pathophysiological processes. In this program, the students will examine molecular mechanisms that underlie the cellular aberrations in clinical disorders and incorporate fundamental principles learned in coursework to medical research.

Please note, students do not apply directly to a curriculum. Interested students should apply for the Ph.D. in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology. Curricula and specific projects are typically selected during the first year of study.


Ph.D. students are provided with € 1.500 funding in the second and third year of the scheme. This funding is available to cover directly incurred costs required to carry out the project such as travel to conferences and specialist resources.
Ph.D. students are provided with financial support (for a maximum of 18 months) to carry out traineeships in outstanding foreign research centers.


Students benefit from a wealth of seminars and workshops held by world-leading researchers, providing a broad scientific education. Ph.D. program offers expert training in state-of-the-art technologies, through our core research facilities, and (compulsory) advanced taught courses dealing with generic skills such as intellectual property rights, visualization of research performance, entrepreneurship, the Framework Program of the European Commission (NetVal, SciVal, APRE training courses), and scientific English writing or grant applications.
At the end of the first and second year of the Ph.D. program, the students are requested to submit a report describing the research activities performed that also includes a list of the attended didactical activities, of poster/oral communications presented by the Ph.D. student, and list of the publications).

Instructions for the Annual Report (PDF)

At the end of Ph.D. course, the students must submit and discuss their dissertation thesis.
The Ph.D. in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology is examined by thesis and viva. The thesis must satisfy the examiners that the candidates are able to design and carry out an original investigation, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject.
To be admitted at the Ph.D. thesis defense, students are requested to publish at least one research paper (no restriction for the authorship position) within the three years of the Ph.D. program.

Instructions for the Thesis (PDF)

Ph.D. Thesis defense for the XXXII cycle is scheduled on 24th February 2020

Additional programs of study & certificates

Specialty-Ph.D. program: The Ph.D. in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology and UPO Medical Specialty Schools offer an integrated curriculum leading to a joint degree (Specialty -Ph.D.) with the mission to train the next generation of premier physician-scientists, with representation across a variety of clinical disciplines and research areas. During the last year of the specialty training, the candidates are concomitantly enrolled in the first year of the Ph.D. program.

Doctor Europaeus: The University of Piemonte Orientale participates in the international program awarding the “Doctor Europæus certificate”. This label certifies the fulfillment of the requirements, established by the European University Association, during the Ph.D. period, i.e. joint supervision of the research activities, an international board of thesis examiners, multilingualism and international mobility.


Coordinator: Prof. Marisa Gariglio
Department of Translational Medicine.
Via Solaroli, 17 – 28100 Novara (Italy)
Tel.: + 39 0321-660649
e-mail: marisa.gariglio@med.uniupo.it

Vice-Coordinator: Prof. Sandra D’Alfonso
Department of Health Sciences
Via Solaroli, 17 – 28100 Novara (Italy)
Tel.: + 39 0321-660684
e-mail: sandra.dalfonso@med.uniupo.it