|This three-year program aims at providing high-level scientific research and training opportunities for students with background in biological sciences, medicine, engineering, physics, chemistry, pharmacology, interested in studying the functions of the organism in the field of health and disease with a multidisciplinary approach.|
The course is divided into three curricula that address the different topics of Life Sciences:
1) Biology and genetics of prokaryotes and viruses; host-pathogen interaction including immune response, and antimicrobial resistance mechanisms.
This study program will focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the fundamental processes in the biology of prokaryotic cells and viruses and their interactions with the host.
Research areas of interest include the strategies adopted by bacteria/viruses to counteract the stress conditions imposed by the host and mechanisms of microbial/viral infection, persistence and avoidance of immune responses. The cellular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of bacterial/viral infections, as well as the evolution of the mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics and antivirals are also studied.
2) Bioinformatics and Omics, Structure and function of macromolecules, Discovery of new drugs.
This program focuses on the properties of biological macromolecules, to interpret biological complexity in relevant phenomena such as cell reprogramming, cancer, host-pathogen interactions. Different approaches are used, involving structural biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, design and chemistry of new drugs. Research areas include the study of protein structure, stability and folding and of recognition between biomolecules and the structural analysis of target molecules to design, synthesize and validate antimicrobial and antiviral compounds and anticancer drugs. Computational approaches are also explored for the interpretation of -omics data and prediction of the function and structure of macromolecules.
3) Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics of eukaryotic cells; Developmental Biology; Cell Physiology.
This curriculum focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the fundamental processes of eukaryotic cell biology. Current areas of interest include regulatory signaling networks, crosstalk and cellular trafficking as well as metabolism and metabolic reprogramming in physiological and pathological adaptation. Relevant research is carried out to analyze the expression and function of non-protein coding genes, such as small and long non-coding RNAs. Chromosomal organization, genome stability, epigenetics, cell differentiation and the fate of stem cells in response to microenvironmental factors are also investigated.