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Morphogenesis & Tissue Homeostasis

Offered by

Sapienza Università di Roma

Fields of Study

Medical, Pharmaceutical and Veterinary Medical Sciences

Working Languages

Italian, English


Morphogenesis & Tissue Homeostasis

Research Areas

This course is part of the PhD School in Biology and Molecular Medicine. The overall aim of the course is to provide cultural, analytical and methodological tools to perform high level-, basic- or traslational- or applied- research in the biomedical, biophysical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological fields. The course is aimed to teach the students not only notions, but also to acquire evaluation criteria to innovatively pinpoint unresolved issues, in specific fields, and to design experimental strategies to address these issues. Intense seminarial activity, done by both internal and external experts is performed. The topics of the lessons deal with the research guidelines of the PhD program. In addition, seminars performed by international scientists are organized. Seminars are often given in English, thus representing the chance for students to practice scientific discussions with international scientists, often members of the PhD Thesis committee. PhD students may undergo training in foreign laboratories, highly qualified in the fields of the doctorate’s study.

Curriculum in Morphogenetic and Cytological Sciences: the didactic aims of the PhD program are developed through research guidelines regarding the study of the mechanisms regulating somatic cell differentiation. In particular, the following research interests are pursued: a) Progression and maintenance of the differentiated state, through interaction between muscle cells and factors regulating myogenesis such as AVP, TGFbeta and IGF-I. Role of signal transduction pathways activated by IGF-I and TPA, through PKC isoforms; b) Embryogenesis and histogenesis. In particular, the mechanisms of induction and determination of mesodermal structures, as well as of the genesis and role of stem and myogenic precursor cells. c) Identification of molecular mechanisms of myeloid differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells, exploiting models of normal myeloid differentiation and of leukemogenesis; d)Tissue engineering, with special interest for the construction of engineered myotubes organized into an implantable biostructure, and studies of re-colonization of decellularized scaffolds by myogenic cells; e) molecular mechanisms of cardiac remodeling, homeostasis an hypertrophy.

Curriculum in Cell Sciences and Technologies: The main areas of training for this curriculum are: - mechanisms controlling cell cycle and death, a primary interest being devoted to the study of molecular regulators of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways;  - cell interactions and morphogenesis, with reference to the development of the gonads, the histogenesis of gonadic cell population and the morphogenesis of seminiferous tubules and ovarian follicles; - Biology of spermatogonial stem cell, with emphasis on the isolation and characterization of mammalian germline stem cells, prerequisite for their potential use in medical therapy of infertility and of testis germ cell tumors. - Regulation of gene expression and cell differentiation, with reference to the mechanisms of male and female germline differentiation during gonads formation and paracrine signaling by somatic cells. Tissue homeostasis and malignant transformation: interplay between tissue homeostasis changes induced by inflammatory agents (cytokines and/or agents mimicking pathogen infections) and carcinogenesis or tumour progression in hyperplasic and carcinoma cells and in "in vivo" mouse models of orthotopic- and xeno-transplants; cross talk between signal pathways activated by receptors of innate immunity and oncogenes in the onset of transformed phenotype; immuno-suppressive mechanisms developed by tumour cells and strategies to restore anti-tumour immuno-surveillance.

Curriculum in Cell and Tissue Biophysics: The educational focus of the Curriculum in BIOPHYSICS is the endorsement of scientific and professional skills in dealing with basic biophysical problems, paying special attention to the autonomous and appropriate appreciation of relevant issues. In particular, the realization of original research projects is encouraged and sustained in the following fields: - mathematical modeling, multivariate statistics and biophysical chemistry; - spectroscopical methods; - human biology, molecular genetics and brain metabolism; - dynamical simulations and modeling of biosystems at different dimensional scale.

PhD Full

Starting date:Nov 01, 2017
Duration:36 months

PhD Sandwich

Starting date: from Nov 01, 2017
Duration: from 3 to 12 months


Starting date: from Nov 01, 2017
Duration: from 3 to 12 months

Master research

Starting date: from Nov 01, 2017
Duration: from 3 to 6 months


Academic contact

Martina Vizzani

Institutional contact

Martina Vizzani