Training activities 35th cycle

Training activities for the PhD students of the 35th cycle

Teaching activities scheduled for the 1st year (2019/20)

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  (Alberto Barbaresi, Marco Bovo)       

· 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.


Use of statistical and data management software (David Neil Manners)

Course objectives
By the end of the course, the student will be able to organise and prepare data for scientific research, and to visualise and analyse it using R. The course will emphasise applications to real data sets, and focus on "small" data (< 1 Tb).

Course contents
1) Project and data management
Outline of main considerations regarding data management for scientific projects, and brief review of useful software packages
2) Data type and structures
Overview of data types and data structures, with special emphasis on the R language
3) Outline of R
Introduction to the R language, including fundamental elements of grammar including syntax and control structures, and use of the Rstudio GUI
4) Data wrangling
Description of processes needed to prepare data for visualisation and analysis, including importing and exporting data sets, data cleaning, and reformatting for easy processing
5) Data visualisation
Graphical techniques for visualising distributions of and correlations between categorical and continuous variables
6) Data modelling, analysis and statistics
A brief review of techniques to summarise and simplify data using descriptive and inferential statistics

Teaching methods
Conventional lessons and computer laboratories, conducted in a computer room using terminals with required software pre-installed


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)


Environmental pollution and health: Hazard analysis, human risk assessment and general strategies of pollution prevention (Erica Leoni)


To know the polluting effects of human activities on the environment and to focus the prevention strategies to conserve and preserve the standard healthy level of environmental media.


Main polluting elements deriving from human activities in the entire natural environment: in atmosphere, water, soil and consequently in food. Indicators of environmental contamination and risk assessment. Pollution control strategies: reduction of polluting sources, recycling, treatment 


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.


Key points of the pharmaco-toxicological analysis applied to bioactive compounds, herbal products and environmental samples (Laura Mercolini, Michele Protti)

Learning outcomes 
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 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 (eg herbal samples) and in environmental matrices are also addressed. Some recent applications, relevant in the scientific literature, are also 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



Teaching activities scheduled for the 2nd year (2020/21)

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)

Click here to see the page with the complementary course offered in the 2020/21 academic year.