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Programme overview

Info 2022/2023

Degree type
Duration and credits
Free access
Teaching mode
Head of programme


Admission to the PhD Course is subject to an entry examination, which is typically announced each year in spring. Exact information and details are published on the dedicated webpage that contains the list of courses, number of available PhD positions and grant opportunities as well as the dates, venues, and content of the entry test.

Each PhD will have specific entry requirements and examination for their programme, which will be listed on the Departmental pages. Please note that you may be asked to sit an interview or a written examination depending on the PhD programme you are applying for.

Candidates who pass the entry examination are placed on a constantly updated merit list, i.e. a list of suitable candidates, showing the allocated PhD positions.
Applicants who are admitted to the PhD courses must submit or send to the "Unige Servizio Alta Formazione" the application form by the deadline - as mentioned above all details are to be found in the notice of competition issued in spring.

The PhD regulations are available on the dedicated webpage.

The course in brief


The Ph.D. in Clinical and Experimental Immunology trains young graduates in the field of Immunology and related disciplines, providing them with an interdisciplinary approach to face and solve basic or applied research problems experimentally.

The Teaching Board counts among its members world-renowned researchers, many of whom are among the most cited researchers in the national and international arena. The Board is made up of faculty members and researchers from National and International Research Centers, with different specific skills, the integration of which makes it possible to guarantee Ph.D. students a complete and cutting-edge scientific program.

The Ph.D. Program offers a flexible choice of courses and seminars combined with extensive research training in the laboratories of a proven team of researchers.

The goal is to train young researchers and provide the tools necessary to conduct research independently and complete the assigned research project. In carrying out the project, Ph.D. students are supported by national and international scientific partners who collaborate with the Teaching Board. The Program includes periods abroad at foreign research institutions in order to strengthen training of Ph.D. students.

Learning outcomes

The Ph.D. Program aims to train qualified researchers, capable of planning and conducting research activities independently, mainly aimed at analysing the phenotypic and functional characteristics of immunocompetent cells and analysing the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of immune responses, in the field of basic and clinical research.

At the same time, the objective of the Ph.D. Program is to train young researchers in planning and conducting biomedical experiments in the field of cancer immunology, infectious disease immunology, and autoimmunity, in order also to propose the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

At the same time, the coursework will allow students to acquire skills in the dissemination of their findings through the presentation of their data at seminars or scientific events and the writing of Research articles.
A further purpose of the Ph.D. Program is to develop skills in interacting with industries and acquire knowledge about the procedures for intellectual protection of research results, with the aim also of supporting entrepreneurial initiatives.

Professional outlets

The achievement of the PhD title in Clinical and Experimental Immunology allows access to labour market, both in public and private organisations and institutions, in Italy and abroad. In fact, it represents a qualification that allows, at the end of the three-year course, access to competitions for post-doctoral positions and constitutes an important title in the evaluation for University Researcher positions and for the achievement of the National Scientific Qualification for the University Teaching.

The achievement of the PhD title can also be an added value for the admission in Research Institutions, research-led biopharmaceutical industries, and hospitals which want to combine clinical activities with research, in Italy or abroad. The training obtained, in fact, allows the young researcher to be included in a professional context aimed at designing and conducting clinical studies as well as clinical testing of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.


11343_Simona Sivori

Welcome to the Ph.D. Program in Clinical and Experimental Immunology.

Coordinatore del Corso

Teaching Board

Check out the list of members of the teacher's Board.

International Collaborations

  • Deutsches rheuma forschungszentrum, Berlin, Germany
  • Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) Scholar, Institut Universitaire de France cimlcnrs-inserm-universit de la Mediterranée Campus de Luminy, Marseille, France
  • Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA

Research fields

The Ph.D. offers the opportunity to conduct scientific research on multiple topics within Immunology and related disciplines. Here are the main research interests:

  • Differentiation and characterization of "Innate Lymphoid Cells" (ILCs)
  • Analysis of cellular and molecular interactions between NK cells, tumor cells and components of the tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor markers and tumor 'escape' mechanisms to NK-mediated immunosurveillance
  • NK cells as effectors in anticancer therapy toward hematopoietic and solid tumors
  • Immune checkpoints in human NK cells and other subpopulations of ILCs and their role in cancer immunotherapies
  • Regulation of miRNA-mediated NK receptor expression, miRNA expression profiles, and proteomics in NK cell subpopulations
  • Role of cytomegalic infection in NK cell differentiation and induction of adaptive features
  • Small molecules derived from marine organisms to modulate immune responses
  • Analysis of mechanisms underlying immune dysregulation in diseases
  • Identification and molecular/functional analysis of immunomodulatory agents
  • Functional characterization of novel regulatory cell subtypes and analysis of their pathogenetic role in autoimmune, neoplastic, and infectious diseases
  • Mechanisms of NK cell dysregulation during acute and chronic viral infection and immunotherapy
  • Characterization of common inflammatory lymphocyte precursors and their lymphoid progenies during infectious, autoimmune, and neoplastic diseases
  • Analysis of tumor-associated antigen-specific immune responses in subjects with neoplasms
  • Evaluation of ImmunoEndocrinological Networks in Rheumatologic Autoimmune Diseases
  • Analysis and modulation of macrophage polarization (M1/M2) in autoimmune connective tissues
  • Epigenetic mechanisms of pregnancy immunomodulation in rheumatologic connectivitis
  • Generation of therapeutic vaccines and biological agents for the treatment of neoplastic or autoimmune diseases
  • Analysis of gene polymorphisms potentially involved in the genesis of autoimmune or neoplastic diseases

Training program

The training activity is inclusive of 180 CFUs divided into 60 CFUs/year.

  • The 1st year includes 10 CFU of lectures (lessons, seminars, elective courses) and 50 CFU of research activity.
  • The 2nd year provides 5 CFU of lectures (lessons, seminars, elective courses) and 55 CFU of research activity.
  • The 3rd year provides 60 CFU of research activities and thesis preparation.

The course ends with discussion of the thesis in front of an Examining Board made up of internal and external members selected by the Committee.

Educational activities

Training activities

PhD students

Check out the list of doctoral students from the various doctoral cycles and follow them throughout their careers.

Read more

Calls, information, forms, regulations, contacts
PhD Office
Via Vivaldi 5 - 16126 Genova
+39 010 2095795