Universitą degli studi di Pavia


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PhD Program Overview and Courses
The PhD student education will follow two paths: one is specific for each student and is based on research activities and personal studies under the direction of a faculty advisor, the other path, common to all students, includes courses and seminars.

PhD research activity is carried out within a research group belonging to the participating Institution (University Departments and CNR Institute). The research project will be approved by the Faculty members. Students may work for a period in other laboratories in Italy or in a foreign country, performing a work related to their research project, with the approval of the Faculty members.
To stimulate and facilitate collaboration and discussion among students, the organization of student meetings is encouraged, during which they may exchange practical and theoretical knowledge. Thanks to the many collaborations with Italian and foreign Universities, students can participate in informal meetings on the design of the research project and the results obtained.
Finally, at the end of each academic year, students critically present and discuss the results of their research activity with all the other students and Faculty members.


Each year, two types of courses are organized: core courses and advanced courses, lasting about 20 hours each. Courses are held in English. Students must follow the core courses and the advanced courses planned for each year. By the end of September, students must take the exams. For core courses, usually there is a test prepared by the teachers; for the advanced course exams, students are usually required to prepare a presentation on one of the topics covered in the course and present it to their fellow students and teachers.

Core courses

Core courses are held yearly or every other year.

  • Biostatistics (annual).
  • English scientific writing (annual)
  • Innovative technologies and bioinformatics tools for the analysis of living organisms (every other year)
  • Techniques of immunocytochemistry, optical and electronic microscopy (every other year)

Advanced courses

Advanced courses are organized in three groups, each group is repeated every three years. They cover the main topics of the PhD program (Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, Medical Pathology and Genetics, Microbiology and Virology).

Group 1
  • Human molecular genetics and pathology
  • Genome manipulation

Group 2
  • Molecular microbiology and virology
  • Evolution: from phenotype to molecular approaches

Group 3
  • Frontiers in cellular biology
  • Frontiers in molecular biology


Every year, the CNR Institute of Molecular Genetics Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza organizes the "Arturo Falaschi Lecture", which covers emerging topics in the field of Genetics and Molecular Biology. This lecture is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Arturo Falaschi, who was the IGM Director between 1970 to 1987.


PhD students are invited to follow the seminars organized by the participatin Institutionsg. In addition, PhD students can perform teaching experiences taking a few lessons within university courses
The PhD thesis is in English. This makes easier the interactions between the students and the foreign Universities/Laboratories they might contact for a post-doctoral position.

Archive of past courses

Academic Year 2020 - 2021
Academic Year 2019 - 2020
Academic Year 2018 - 2019
Academic Year 2017 - 2018
Academic Year 2016 - 2017
Academic Year 2015 - 2016
Academic Year 2014 - 2015
Academic Year 2013 - 2014
Academic Year 2012 - 2013
Academic Year 2011 - 2012
Academic Year 2010 - 2011
Academic Year 2009 - 2010
Academic Year 2008 - 2009
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