Training activities 34th cycle

Training activities for the PhD students of the 34th cycle

Teaching activities scheduled for the 1st year (2018/19)

Compulsory training program common to all PhD students 


Presentation of research findings (Stefano Benni)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the PhD student knows the key aspects of the structure of an effective presentation of research findings and achieves the main communication skills to present a research to the scientific community.

Course contents

•          Fundamentals of communication for academic presentations

•          Analysis of presentations of research findings 

•          Process of outlining the structure of a scientific presentation

•          Workshop for the application of the theoretical contents     


International mobility guidance (Maria Luisa Dindo)

Learning outcomes

The seminar aims to illustrate to the students of the SSSV course the opportunities for international mobility offered to them, taking into account that a stage abroad (in an appropriate place and with a study / research program well in line with the thesis topic) represents an essential moment in the training of a PhD student. The seminar also aims to briefly illustrate the results of some concrete experiences, with the aim of better directing the PhD students towards the choices they will be able to make.


The contents will be as follows:

1. Requirements for stays transferred and to obtain the related increase in scholarship

2. Main mobility programs (e.g. Erasmus plus, Marco Polo, Brown University)

3. Other opportunities abroad

4. Reference sites and contacts

5. Previous experiences abroad of PhD students (with the teacher as tutor), with suggestions to better exploit this opportunity


Big data: data processing and use of statistical software for the management and construction of large databases to support research  (Maria Pia Fantini, Davide Gori)

The role of big data in modern epidemiology and as a way to tackle modern epidemics (i.e. chronic diseases and ageing)
Construction of database to manage population based data.
Practical examples of data construction and management using statistical packages.
Students will learn the basis of the utilization of big data in medicine.
Students will undergo practical laboratories for data construction and management using statistical packages.


Big data: applications in the medical and environmental fields (Giulia Menichetti)

Learning outcomes

The student will acquire the bases of big data analysis, familiarizing with the most common techniques for storing, managing and use of unstructured data with a specific attention to the extraction and analysis of information in biological and environmental fields.


Geographical information systems (Daniele Torreggiani)   

Learning outcomes: The student will acquire the theoretical and practical bases of maps and geographic information systems (GIS), and will be able to use both raster and vector layers, perform data spatialization and data analysis and geoprocessing in in GIS environment.

Contents: Fundamentals of cartography, introduction to digital maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). ArcGIS software (ArcMap, ArcToolbox, ArcCatalog): main commands and functions, geodata: sources and online services. GIS practicals with ArcGIS software: loading, management and queries on vector and raster maps, reclassification. Reference system definition and transformation. Creating and editing of maps and attribute tables, feature selection based on attributes and location, join and spatial join. Main geoprocessing functions: proximity analysis, buffer analysis, overlay mapping, clipping, merging. Importing GPS data into ArcGIS. Print and exporting: legend, dataframe management.  


Set up of a research protocol (Marco Menchetti)                 

Learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student has knowledge, as far as he is competent, relating to the field of research methodology and will be able to conduct a critical appraisal of a clinical trial/observational study.
Course contents
- Characteristics of the different study designs
- Selection of subjects for study
- Sources of error and of bias
- Confounding
- Critical appraisal of some research protocols


EU projects: preparation, coordination of a consortium, management (Alessandra Bordoni)

EU competitive projects represent an important opportunity for researchers. Competition is increasing and it is important to learn and adopt strategies that could improve the success rate.
The content of the course is about the explanation of these strategies, starting from the preparation of the proposal and concluding with the successful submission of the final report to the EU Commission.
The objectives of the course will be:
- to clarify all aspects related to the preparation of the proposal, considering the standard template;
- to elucidate all aspects related to the management of the Consortium, including the preparation of the Consortium Agreement, the IPR and exploitation of results
- to explain the relationship between the Coordinator and the EU Commission, from the grant agreement to the final report. 


Entrepreneurship and business plan  (Rosa Grimaldi)

Learning outcomes: The student will know the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and will be introduced to the main phases of development of a business idea and relevant tools.

Contents: Introduction to entrepreneurship, identifying and evaluating new business ideas, Business Plan e business model         


Protection and exploitation of research results and intellectual property  (Alessandra Baccigotti, Andrea Ravaioli, Knowledge Transfer Office Unibo)       

· What is intellectual property
· How to protect IP
· IP valorization through outlicensing and spin-off creation
· University policies and services to support IP protection and valorization.


Bibliographic services for research   (part A: Davide Gori; part B: Federica Rossi, Goidanich Library)         

Part A

Goals. Students will achieve the methodology for building evidence based strings for making research in medical literature. Students will discuss together the basic principles for appraising a scientific article.

Contents. How to build evidence based search strings and filters for the identification of all relevant studies to answer clinical questions. Basic principles for appraising and evaluating the quality of a scientific article. A practical example and discussion with the class of literature search in PubMed and/or other medical databases           

Part B

Main on-line tools for bibliographic resources that can be accessed through the library system of the university of Bologna: book and journals catalogues, databases. Practical exercises on the tools presented.


Academic writing       (University Language Center - CLA)       


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)

Indoor and outdoor facilities for physical activity, sport and leisure: hygiene and safety requirements (Erica Leoni)


To know the legislation and regulations related to indoor and outdoor sport facilities and the health and safety regulations of sport facilities.  To know health risks related to sport environments and acquire tools for risk assessment and control.


Hygiene of sports facilities: construction features, microclimatic, technical and safety requirements. Swimming pool hygiene, infectious risk in the pool and control measures; pool water purification treatments. Structural and procedural safety in motor activities for the prevention of infections and injuries.


Urban walkability and impact on children's health (Laura Dallolio)

Learning outcomes 

Identify basic theories, concepts and models investigating the role of social determinants on health.
Apply evidence-based reasoning to identify how social determinants affect health.
Describe the role of urban setting both the onset and solution of a range of pathologies.
The social determinants of health: theories, concepts and models 
Urban settings as a social determinant of health 
Urban health and the European Healthy Cities Network 
Urban walkability and impact on children’s 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   (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. 


Project Management and Lean construction (Marco Alvise Bragadin)

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 techniques and software of project management used in the construction sector. Construction Project management aims at delivering efficiently construction projects, nevertheless few construction projects are actually delivered on time and on budget. Lean Construction is a new approach to the management of the construction projects that is being implemented by international construction companies. Lean Construction aims at improving production processes to reach project objectives. The two production philosophies are presented and compared with the aim of giving a complete perspective of the needed skills and techniques for a construction project manager. 


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 (Stefano Benni)

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 


Body composition and health  (Stefania Toselli)

Learning outcomes
- Acquisition of appropriate methodologies for the assessment of the weight and nutritional status and for the pre- and post-treatment evaluation of nutritional and/or physical activity programs for the control of body composition in different conditions (age, state of health, etc ... );

- 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.
Evaluation of nutritional status and of health risk indicators (weight status, body fat distribution, body composition, somatotype);
Technical-practical assessment of anthropometrical measurements useful in the evaluation of weight status and health risk factors;
Body composition and growth;
Body composition and ageing;
Relationship between body composition and morbidity/mortality (obesity, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson's disease).


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

Main concepts of European and Italian Health and Safety (H & S) laws in the construction sector are presented. The historical development of the implementation of these concepts in the Italian legal environment will be used to better explain actual H & S regulations and standards. The EU 92/57 directive and its Italian implementation of the H & S code, the Italian republic decrees no. 494/96 now substituted by D.Lgs. 81/08, introduced safety management by law in almost each construction project. The tools and activities of the safety manager (H & S co-ordinator) are described and discussed. 


Pharmacogenomics and toxicogenomics of chronic-degenerative disease  (Sabrina Angelini)

The response to drugs and environmental chemicals varies with genotype. Some patients react well to drugs, while others may not benefit, or may even respond adversely. Individuals also experience different reactions to environmental agents, such as allergens. The sequencing of the human genome and the large-scale identification of genome polymorphisms have provided opportunities for understanding the genetic basis for individual differences in response to drugs (pharmacogenetics) and potential toxicants (toxicogenetics)
At the end of the course students will gain knowledge in the use of genetic testing aimed to evaluate drugs’ and environmental agents’ efficacy/safety.


Fundamentals and applications of the pharmaco-toxicological analysis in health (Laura Mercolini)

The course takes into consideration the principles, purposes and problems peculiar to the chemical-toxicological analysis applied to the therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM). 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). Some recent applications, relevant in the scientific literature, are also illustrated in detail. 

At the end of the course, the student possesses the basic theoretical knowledge on the main techniques and methods currently used for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of drugs and metabolites in biological samples for TDM purposes.


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.


Modern research in applied pharmaceutical botany    (Ferruccio Poli)

Learning objectives:
State of art in the field of ethnobotany: historical and scientific background
Importance of ethnobotanical research in finding new bioactive molecules
Example of ethnobotanical study carried out in Africa
Ethnobotany in Italy, importance and results obtained in different Italian Regions


"Omic" sciences and inductive approach research      (Manuela Mandrone)

To understand the historical and philosophical background giving rise to the so called ‘omics revolution’ 

To learn about the ‘omic’ disciplines, being clear about the terminology in use

To appreciate that the ‘omic’ experiment is a complex process requiring thorough study design and sample preparation, involving a number of technologies and requiring extensive data processing and analysis

To gain a brief overview of the application of the inductive approach in different areas of research, from natural science to humanities and art


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


Teaching activities scheduled for the 2nd year (2019/20)

Compulsory training program common to all PhD students 


Writing a scientific paper (Marco Menchetti)


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)

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.