Complementary courses a.y. 2021/22

Complementary training program available for the academic year 2021/22

Complementary training program aimed at knowledge alignment and in-depth analysis of various topics (courses to be identified with the support of the supervisors and the academic board)

Courses active for the academic year 2021/22

Courses for the 36th cycle (2nd year)


Problems related to the introduction of exotic plant pathogens (Assunta Bertaccini, Nicoletta Contaldo)

Learning outcomes 
The course will provide basic information about the most important exotic plant pathogens emphasizing those that are insect transmitted since they represent and relevant threat to agricultural, landscape and urban environments. The importance and need for a correct management with the least possible disruption to the diverse ecosystems and the least hazard to people, animals, and environment. The course will enable the students to become familiar with new epidemic plant diseases and to gain understanding of the influence of plant pathogens in crop-ecology finalized in prevent the disease entrance and rationalise their control. This knowledge will provide tools to perform diseases diagnosis and to design innovative, sustainable and tailored control methods to exotic plant pathogen entrance or to reduce their impacts. 
Exotic plant pathogens potentially relevant for the Italian environments. 
The relevance of the insect transmitted plant pathogens and their epidemiological behaviors. 
Basic elements to formulate a correct pathogen identification (diagnostic) based on symptoms and on analytical procedures. 
Insights on the quarantine legislation and the implications of the resulting legislative limitations. 
Basis for the understanding, interpretation, selection, development and application of the most effective methods of management of selected exotic plant pathogens to have the smallest environmental impact according with the diverse agroecosystems. Practical tools to reduce the impact of these pathogens on both human health and environment.


Problems related to the introduction of exotic insects (Maria Luisa Dindo)

Learning outcomes
At the end of the seminar, the students will know how insects spread from one area to another, the mechanisms of the invasiveness of some species and the resulting damage, with its repercussions. Students will also learn about the sustainable methods of prevention and control of exotic insects and the structure and activity of intergovernmental organizations, the aims of which include preventing and stopping the phenomenon.

Course contents
The movements of insects from one country to another has occurred for centuries, but it has increased considerably since the discovery of America and of the new ocean routes from Europe to Asia. In current times, globalization, which involves an exponential increase in the movement of goods and people, is causing a sharp increase in the phenomenon. Furthermore, climate change can facilitate the naturalization of exotic species in new environments, thus contributing to expand their distribution area. During the seminar, the mechanisms of the diffusion of insects into new areas will be dealt with. The mechanisms enabling certain alien species to naturalize and become invasive in the countries of introduction will be discussed. Case studies (e.g.the brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys ) will be presented. We will highlight the dangers that invasive insects entail for agriculture, the environment and, in some cases, for health of humans and domestic animals. Finally, sustainable invasive species management methods (including biological control) will be illustrated. It will be outlined the fundamental role of intergovernmental organizations, such as the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) and the l'International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), which have, among their missions, the identification of strategies to manage invasive exotic species (including insects), shared among the member countries .

Computer-assisted minimally invasive surgery, current role and future prospects in orthopedics (Stefano Zaffagnini)

Technology has brought about a significant and welcome change to the healthcare. Clinician and surgeons have now access to some of the best diagnostic tools, new targeted treatments, and to a minimally-invasive procedures resulting better recovery and overall patients satisfaction. 
In the Orthopaedic field, technology has given the possibility to better quantify the impact of injuries and has given the chance to identify the best treatment for every patient, with "tailored" surgeries. Other devices have improved the accuracy of the surgeons in the operating room reducing the possibility of surgical complications and pain. The technology is now helping also people with a handicap such as amputation to obtain a faster recovery and prosthesis customized and osteo-integrated. 
In summary, the availability of newer treatment technologies has led to better outcomes that have enhanced the quality of life of the patients as well. The aim of the course will be to describe the most important technologies that made this healthcare improvement possible.

Life Cycle Cost & Assessment for construction (Marco Alvise Bragadin)

The sustainability of building projects can be achieved through different approaches. Life Cycle Cost Analysis, developed in the US to address energy related costs of buildings during the oil crisis of 1973, and Life Cycle Assessment, that was developed to take into account the load of industrial processes on environmental systems. Main concepts of Life Cycle Cost and Life Cycle Assessment are presented, especially focusing on the construction sector. 


Green approaches for a sustainable development: new analytical strategies in medicinal chemistry (Michele Protti)

Learning outcomes
The aim of this course is to provide the student with the basic notions on sustainable approaches applied to analytical strategies, fulfilling the goal of sustainable development, to achieve more eco-friendly analytical platforms in the medicinal chemistry field, through technological and methodological approaches.

The course provides an overview of the principles of green chemistry applied to analytical methodologies (with a focus on bioanalysis). The existing opportunities for greener sample pretreatment and environmentally-sound chromatographic methods for advanced analysis in the field of medicinal chemistry will be described. The most up-to-date analytical approaches will be discussed taking into account the main requirements for a sustainable development. For example, the avoidance of toxic reagents and the reduction of organic solvents will be considered, as well as the reduction of waste generated in the analytical laboratory. Moreover, strategies for the reduction of labour (complete automation when possible) and energy consumption of analytical procedures will be described. Finally, an overview will be given on the development of smart, alternative sampling and sample treatment techniques, as well as the miniaturisation of the analytical equipment and pre-analytical protocols. 


Food Chemistry: the first step for nutrition and health  (Matteo Micucci)



Courses for the 37th cycle (1st year)


Research ethics in the health/pharmaceutical field (Davide Gori)

Frauds and misconduct have been common in the history of science. A well-known example is that of former-doctor A.J. Wakefield, who published a study in 1998 reporting the association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and a syndrome of autism in children. Only in 2011 was it proven that Wakefield heavily manipulated the research data and forged false ethical approval to depict a false association between vaccines and autism, which would have granted him significant personal economical returns through the involvement in a lawsuit against manufacturers of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. 
Recent events connected to the COVID-19 pandemic have also highlighted how the risks and consequences of lack of ethics in scientific research are no longer acceptable.
Currently, digitization, big data and the speed of science favor the progress of human knowledge but also increase its weaknesses. Personal, career or economic interests on the one side and frauds and misconducts on the other are increasingly frequent and take advantage of a digital world that is not always able to implement the necessary countermeasures.
Researchers, academics, health professionals, and all those involved in knowledge creation must be aware of the perils and risks that pervade today's scientific world. To do this it is necessary to understand the process of creating scientific evidence, the editorial process, and their fallacies.
What PhD students will learn:
The scientific process of knowledge creation  
Foundations of research ethics
Past and current examples of fraud and misconduct in scientific research
How to juggle the scientific and editorial process
Strategies for the critical analysis of scientific evidence

Epidemiology and Determinants of Health (Laura Dallolio)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is able to show evidence about how social and physical environment and individual behaviours affect health.

Course contents

· Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health

· Conceptual Models of Social Determinants of health

· Social and economic environment as determinant of health

· Physical environment as determinant of health

· Social support networks as determinants of health

· Person’s individual characteristics and behaviours as determinants of health


Food policies and proper nutrition in the pediatric age (Marcello Lanari)

Lifestyles and eating behaviour in childhood
The Mediterranean diet value in pregnancy and childhood
The “roots” of childhood obesity


Epidemiology of overweight and obesity: international, national and regional trends. Contrast strategies  (Davide Gori, Maria Pia Fantini)

1st Lecture: overweight and obesity as public health epidemics, data coming from Italian, European and worldwide scientific literature.
2nd Lecture: differences in prevalence of obesity and inequalities, ways to tackle and contrast obesity
Students will learn and analyze the role of overweight and obesity as current public health emergencies, ad their role in the genesis of the most important metabolic syndromes
Students will also discuss the role of the different determinants of health inequalities, along with the strategies to contrast overweight and obesity. 


Fundamentals of Project Management for the industrial sector and construction (Marco Alvise Bragadin)

Project management aims at delivering efficiently industrial projects. Project Management body of knowledge is a set of well-known skills and techniques of capital importance for owners, designers, managers and other players of the building construction process. The lecture will focus the most important knowledge areas of project management needed in the construction sector and in manufacturing industry. 


Functional clinical evaluation of patients affected by osteoarticular movement problems in relation to the urban environment and architectural barriers (Lisa Berti)


At the end the student has acquired the clinical tools for the evaluation of musculoskeletal function and the evaluation of outcomes for the main problems of the locomotor system, also in correlation to social participation (environment and architectural barriers). He also knows the principles of instrumental functional assessment techniques in the laboratory and in the external environment.


Kinesiological evaluation of the musculoskeletal system (ROM evaluation: active and passive and manual muscle test).

Evaluation scales (activities and participation in the social environment)

Instrumental functional evaluation

Movement analysis


Kinematic analysis with wearable inertial sensors


The synergy between urban green spaces and a healthy city (Davide Gori, Maria Pia Fantini)

Goals: Students will learn the role of urban programming and green spaces as a mean of improving health.Students will also discuss the role of “neighborhood” and the role of smart cities as a mean for tackling health inequalities.

Contents: Neighborhood and its importance in the development of health inequalities. The importance of urban programming and the role of smart cities. Green spaces and healthy cities


Green systems in urban areas (Alberto Barbaresi)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the PhD student acquires the basic knowledge concerning the planning of urban green areas and the technological aspects related to green roofs, rooftop gardens and green walls.

Course contents

•          Fundamentals of land-use planning in urban areas

•          The role of green systems for environmental quality in urban areas

•          Green roofs and walls for the integration of green systems in buildings:

o         classifications of green roofing and green walls;

o         elements and layers constituting the sub-system;

o         materials and components;

o         load analysis

•          Analysis of study cases 


Influence of genetic and environmental factors on nutritional status (Stefania Toselli)

Learning outcomes

- Acquisition of knowledge for the assessment of health status and any risk factors related to weight, body composition, and body fat distribution in children, adults and the elderly.

- Acquisition of knowledge of the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to nutritional disorder: consideration of determinants within a multilevel framework and strategies for health promotion.


The content will be as follows:

Evaluation of nutritional status and of health risk indicators (weight status, body fat distribution, body composition, somatotype);
Body composition variations during growth and in ageing: genetic and environmental influence


Safety Management and H&S laws in the industrial sector and construction (Marco Alvise Bragadin)

Main concepts of European and Italian Occupational Health and Safety (OH & S) laws are presented, especially focusing on the construction sector. The historical development of the implementation of these concepts in Europe and Italy will be presented, addressing the directives 89/391/EEC, 92/57EEC and their Italian implementation of the consolidate law, the Italian republic decree no. 81/08. 


Effect of Drug-food interactions on dosing: dose individualization for a personalized medicine (Sabrina Angelini)

The simultaneous intake of food and drugs can have a strong impact on the ADME process and consequently, on the efficacy and safety of pharmacotherapy. As such, food-drug interactions are one of the main challenges in oral drug administration. In this 3h-course we will explore the “Food-Drug Interface”, in particular the different mechanisms that can lead to pharmacokinetic food-drug interactions will be discussed.  


The pharmaco-toxicological analysis applied to bioactive compounds, herbal products and environmental samples (Laura Mercolini)

Learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student possesses the basis theoretical knowledge on the main techniques and methods currently used for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of bioactive compounds in samples of different origins.

The course takes into consideration the principles, purposes and problems peculiar to the pharmaco-toxicological analysis applied to the therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), the determination of bioactive compounds in herbal matrices and environmental samples. The main advanced instrumental analytical techniques, and the related analytical methods, are presented and discussed in order to identify and quantify drugs and metabolites in the most significant biological matrices for TDM purposes (for example whole blood, plasma and serum). The analysis of bioactive compounds in samples of natural origin (e.g. herbal samples) and in environmental matrices are also addressed. Some recent applications, relevant in the scientific literature, are illustrated in detail.

Nutraceuticals: a science between nutrition and medicinal chemistry   (Roberta Budriesi)

The course presents the relationships between drugs and nutraceuticals and the rationale for using nutraceuticals in the prevention and therapeutic integration of various diseases.


Functional clinical evaluation of patients affected by neurological movement problems in relation to the urban environment and architectural barriers  (Paolo Pillastrini)


•  International Classification of Functioning: General Principles

•  The Mobility of subjects with Brain Injuries

•  The Mobility of subjects with Spinal Cord Injuries

•  The Mobility of subjects with Lesions of the Extra-Piramidal System


Lifestyle behaviors and mental health (Marco Menchetti)