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Molecular medicine


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Prof.ssa Mirella GIOVARELLI

4 years

Cellular biochemistry and biotechnology (Biochimica e biotecnologia cellulare)
Molecular biotechnologies (Biotecnologie molecolari)
Immunology and cellular biology (Immunologia e biologia cellulare)
Cellular sciences and technologies (Scienze e tecnologie cellulari)

Cellular biochemistry and biotechnology
The aim of the specialisation is to train researchers in the field of Cellular Biochemistry and Biotechnology. This objective will be pursued through adequate and updated theoretical and practical biochemical and molecular mechanisms that mediate major cellular functions (motility, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis) in physiological and pathological situations. In particular, we will delve into some aspects of the interaction of the cell with the external environment (natural or artificial matrices, growth factors, cytokines, anticancer drugs, hormones) and pathways through which extracellular stimuli trigger a plasma membrane transduction cascade signal. This knowledge will be applied to the development of techniques for cultivation of cells (obtained from primary tissues or established cell lines), tissues and organs for transplantation. We will also study the latest techniques of proteomics, such as mass spectrometry, cloning and expression of recombinant proteins in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The Ph.D. course involves research in the laboratory from the first year. "Structured teaching" programmes are in use for the research training of doctoral students (i.e. "molecular imaging" and "bio-chemical interactions") in order to create a strong integration between teaching and research.

Molecular biotechnologies
Students will acquire an interdisciplinary scientific culture pertaining to cellular and molecular mechanisms in eukaryotes that regulate the functioning of cell receptors, intracellular signalling and gene expression. These events are the basis of the development, differentiation and function of cells, tissues and organs. Proposed projects are

  • cellular systems in the study of the molecular basis of biological processes in physiological and pathological conditions
  • the implementation of new animal models to identify the role of specific proteins in vivo
  • the development of new advanced methods of investigation, such as the 'molecular imaging in vivo.

The projects therefore require a comprehensive approach to the preparation of specific reagents and models. Students will deal with thematic research techniques ranging from cloning to the gene expression. The gene function will be evaluated in crucial events such as migration, proliferation and differentiation, the process of inflammation and tumour transformation.
The main research themes are:

  1. Study in vivo of specific mutations in genes involved in inflammation: PI3Kgamma including phospholipid kinases, the transcription factor STATt3 aptoglobine
  2. Study of adhesive signalling in cellular migration and proliferation. New proteins have been identified involved in signalling of integrins and growth factors, including Melusina, Morgana, the two adapters molecular p130Cas and p140Cap and KRIT1
  3. Study the role of proteins responsible for the development of the nervous system and in stem cells, including protein kinase Citron and Citron-N. New patterns of GFP mice are used to define the parameters of functional stem cells in the nervous system.

Cellular immunology and biology
The specialisation aims to train young researchers to deal with, both theoretically and practically, the problems of the newer molecular cell biology and genetics of immediate bearing on the immune system, using the most modern and post-genomic technologies. In particular, students will have the opportunity to investigate:

  • the pathways of IFN-gamma/STAT1 signal transmission that play a vital role in controlling the expansion of different cell types both normal and neoplastic. The students will learn to construct retroviral vectors to interfere with the functions of STAT3, expressing mutated forms of cDNA or RNA sequences that interfere with the post-transcriptional expression of these genes [siRNA]
  • the activation of interferon-inducible genes responsible for the action of biological IFN, such as Ifi200 in mice and humans HIN200. To understand the in vivo functional role of these proteins, particularly in cells of the immune system, the student will learn to construct mice knocked out by Ifi204 and Ifi202.
  • tumour-host organism relations at immune level, either both using experimental transgenic murine models for oncogenes or with tumour suppressor genes and lymphocytes obtained from cancer patients. The models will be used for experimental protocols immuno-therapy/ cancer diagnosis. The study will be conducted also by the use of microarray and molecular characterization of the T repertoire induced by vaccination (immunoscope).
  • identification and mechanism of action of genes that regulate phagocytosis, resistance to infection, signal transduction mediated by G protein during phagocytosis, chemotaxis and cell differentiation, through a joint strategy for functional genomics and proteomics with technologies for image analysis at the cellular level and essays on cell biology and biochemistry.

Cellular sciences and technologies
The scientific programme of this specialisation is dedicated to the study of the mechanisms that control cellular proliferation and differentiation and the possibility of genotypic manipulation of cells designed to biomedical problems. Of these central themes we will investigate in depth specific issues relating to:

  • the identification factors of growth and/or differentiation and their receptors;
  • understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control cellular proliferation and differentiation;
  • the identification, characterization and manipulation of stem cells;
  • the study of phenotypic and genetic alterations associated with neoplastic transformation;
  • analysis of functional genomics;
  • the genetic modification of cells in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo in order to interfere with the cellular phenotypes;
  • molecular engineering of growth factors and/or cell differentiation.

This cultural and experimental background aims to develop new technologies for use in diagnostics and therapy, and in general the design and testing of application strategies in the field of biological and medical sciences. The programme is therefore designed to overcome barriers between basic research and applied research.

Dipartimento di Medicina ed oncologia sperimentale

Dipartimento di Genetica, Biologia e Biochimica
Dipartimento di Anatomia, Farmacologia e Medicina legale
Dipartimento di Medicina interna
Dipartimento di Scienze cliniche e biologiche
Dipartimento di Scienze oncologiche
Dipartimento di Sanit? pubblica e microbiologia Dipartimento di Scienze biomediche ed oncologia umana

MED/04 - MED/07 - BIO/10 - BIO/11 - BIO/12 - BIO/13 - BIO/17

For the specialisation in Cellular biochemistry and biotechnology:
Center for International Health, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Blood research Lab.,Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Kenya Medical Res. Inst., Wellcome Trust Res. Lab., Kilifi, Kenya
Dr. S. Mueller, University of Glasgow;Glasgow, Scotland
Cephalon Inc.,West Chester, PA, USA
Oxford Biomedical Research, Inc., Oxford MI Friederich-Schiller Universitat Jena, Germania

For the specialisation in Molecular biotechnologies:
Prof. A. Amici, Univ. Camerino
Prof. M. Dallman, Imperial College, London, UK
Dr. C. Watson, Cambridge University, UK
Dr. M. Pontoglio, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
Prof. M Muller, Univ. Vienna, Austria
Prof. P. Musiani, Univ. G. D'Annunzio, Chieti
Prof. C. Garr?, Univ. Genova
Prof. L. Trabalzini, Univ. Siena
Prof. M. Torti, Univ. Pavia
Dr. D. Taverna, Univ. Torino
Prof. J. V. Smal, Institute Molecular Biotechnology, Vienna, Austria
Prof. M. Gatti, Univ. La sapienza, Roma
Prof. G. Lembo, Univ. La sapienza, Roma
Prof. L. Gorza, Univ. Padova
Prof. G. Lanfranchi, Univ. Padova
Prof. G. Hasenfuss, Georg August Univ Goettingen, Germany
Target Heart Biotec, Collaretto Giacosa, To
Prof. A. Arcangeli, Univ. Firenze Karolinska Institute, Sweden Massachussets General Hospital,
Harvard Cutaneous Biology Research Centre

For the specialisation in Cellular immunology and biology:
Centro Ricerche in Medicina Sperimentale (CERMS), Ospedale San Giovanni Battista Torino
Dr. Ludwig Eichinger, Institut Fur Biochemie I, Univ. Koln, FRG
Dr. G. Bloomfield, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
Dr. T. Soldati, Univ. Geneve, Switzerland
Dr. Angelika Noegel, Institut Fur Biochemie I, Univ. Koln, FRG
Dr. D.S. Kumararatne, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS, UK
Dr. S. Bulfone-Paus, Borstel Research Center, Borstel, Germany
Dr. E. Celis, Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, USA
Prof. A. Santoni,Univ. La Sapienza, Roma
Prof. J.C. Cutrin, Univ. Buenos Aires, Argentina
VGX Pharmaceutics, Woodlands, Texas
Dr. C. Klein, Instutut fur Pathologie Klinikum der Universitat Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
Dr. R. Kiessling, Karolinska Institute, Stoccolma, Sweden
Dr. I. Anton, Univ. Autonoma, Madrid, Spain
Dr. G. Masucci, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Dr. P. Kaumaya, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, Ohio , USA
Dr. A. Varadhachary, Agennix inc. Houston, Texas, USA
Dr. S. Ferrone, Rosewell Park Cancer Inst., Buffalo, NY, USA
Prof. N. Bellomo, Politecnico, Torino
Prof. L. Masuelli, Univ. La Sapienza, Roma
Dr. A. Amici, Univ. Camerino, Camerino
Prof. P. Musiani, Univ. G. D'Annunzio, Chieti
Campus Univ. Biomedico, Roma
Dr. Wei-Zen Wei, Wayne State Univ., Detroit, Michigan, USA
NIH, NCI, Bethesda, Maryland, USA Florida, USA
Indena S.P.A., Milano
Dr. R. Clynes, Columbia Univ., New York, USA
Dr. A. Giallongo, CNR, Palermo
Prof. S. Feo, Univ. Palermo
S. Pellegrini, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Dr. D. Lammas, Univ. Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Dr. J.L. Casanova ,INSERM, Paris, Francia
Universit? Rene Descartes Paris v, Paris France
Prof. P. Migliorini, Univ. Pisa, Pisa
M. Tommasino, Int. agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon cedex, France
Prof. H. Pfister, Uniklinik Koln, Koln, Germany
Dr. H.A. Young, NCI Frederick, Frederick, USA
Prof. Y. Shoenfeld, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel
Prof. M. Gariglio, Univ. Piemonte Orientale, Novara
Dr. L. Varesio, Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
Dr. J A. Berzofsky, NIH, NCI, Bethesda, MD, USA
Bethesda, MD, USA RBM Serono, Ivrea Universit? della Magna Grecia, Catanzaro

For the specialisation in Cellular sciences and technologies:
Dr. M. Buck, Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, USA
Dr. C. Christensen, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
Dr. L. Brass, Univ. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Prof. K. Alitalo, Univ. Helsinki-Finnish Academy of Sciences, Finland
Prof. A. Catalano, Univ. Politecnica delle Marche
Dr. T. Lapidot, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel
Dr. R. Levine, Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, USA
Dr. S. Siena, Ospedale Niguarda, Milano
Dr. M. Rodolfo, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano
Prof. R. Jager, Univ. Bonn-School of Medicine, Bonn, Germany
Prof. H. Kikutani, Osaka Univ. Japan
Case Western Univ., Cleveland, USA
University of Leuven, Leuven Belgium (co-tutored dissertations)
Danish Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Biology, Copenhagen, Denmark


Prof:Giovarelli Mirella,tel. +39 011 6335737,e-mail: mirella.giovarelli@unito.it

for the specialisation in Cellular biochemistry and biotechnology:
Ghigo Dario,tel.+39 011 6705849,e-mail: dario.ghigo@unito.it

for the specialisation in Molecular biotechnology:
Altruda Fiorella,tel.+39 011 6705856,e-mail: fiorella.altruda@unito.it

for the specialisation in Cellular immunology and biology:
Giovarelli Mirella, tel. +39 011 6335737,e-mail: mirella.giovarelli@unito.it

for the specialisation in Scienze e Tecnologie cellulari:
Tamagnone Luca,tel. +39 011 9933204, e-mail: luca.tamagnone@unito.it

Universitą degli Studi di Torino - Via Verdi, 8 - 10124 Torino - Central switchboard +39 011 6706111
P.I. 02099550010 - C.F. 80088230018 - IBAN IT07N0306909217100000046985

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