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Research Doctorate in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Over the last two decades, new biomedical and biotechnological research areas have developed, often at the interface of different disciplines. The Ph.D. programme in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology offers a multidisciplinary approach to investigate biological issues. 68 faculty members participate in the Ph.D. programme with different and complementary competences in the fields of human, medical and animal genetics, molecular and cellular biology, human pathology, microbiology, virology and plant physiology. The programme also takes advantage of several collaborations with foreign Universities and Research Centres and offers the possibility to carry out co-advisor programmes in partnership with European Universities.


The objective of the Ph.D. programme in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology is to create the next generation of leading scientists. The programme will offer courses in the latest methodologies and techniques suitable for undertaking basic and applied researches in Biological, Biotechnological and Medical Sciences. It will promote the training of young researchers, enabling them to tackle challenges that arise from the “new biology”, a modern discipline aimed at a deeper understanding of complex biological phenomena.

Research Projects/Areas

The main research areas are:
- molecular basis of genetic diseases and complex pathologies;
- molecular evolution; regulation of cellular processes such as: DNA repair and replication, RNA metabolism, cell cycle and cell death;
- microbiology; virology; plant physiology;
- gene and protein engineering to produce molecules of interest;
- analysis of active principles and of their functional mechanisms also with cytomorphological, cytochemical and ultrastructural approaches.


The Ph.D. programme follows a path specific for each student, based on research activities under the direction of a Faculty advisor, and a path common to all students that includes courses and seminars. Core courses are organized (Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Microscopy Techniques, Scientific English), as well as advanced courses, covering the main topics of the Ph.D. programme. Each course encompasses about 20 hours of lectures and is followed by an exam. At the end of the three year course, students must write and discuss a thesis in English.

Job Opportunities

The main job opportunities lie in research activity in national or foreign universities, research centres and industries.. The majority of those who have obtained the Ph.D. between 1987 and 2011 have continued their research activity.

Coordinator: Prof. Antonio Torroni
Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”
Via Ferrata 9, 27100 Pavia
Tel.: + 39 0382-985563

For more information, see:

Research doctorate website: