The Genomic and experimental medicine doctoral program is designed for self-motivated science graduates and medical doctors wishing to become scholars in the biomedical sciences and to develop research careers in human genetics, functional genomics and molecular medicine. Our goal is to train the next generation of scientists in basic, innovative and state-of-the-art molecular, cellular and translational research to advance disease prevention and therapeutic approaches to promote human health.
Our graduates will find their natural job collocation in academic and clinical Research centers of excellence, in biotechnological industries and in other structures of the biomedical sector.

Students in the GEM doctoral program will be trained in the fields of

  • Cell Biology
  • Gene Therapy
  • Genomics and Systems Biology

In addition students will be exposed to novel and modern technologies such genomics, advanced microscopy, high content screening, proteomics, viral vector production.

Students in the GEM PhD program will then receive additional training in complementary skills such as grant writing, science management and intellectual property. This training comes from both basic scientists in various scientific fields and from physicians as well as experts in program management, grant writing and scientific communication. 

The PhD Program in Genomic and experimental medicine is designed for scientific graduates and medical doctors holding a Master’s Degree (or equivalent).

The location of the PhD for both teaching and laboratory training will be at Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine – TIGEM, Pozzuoli (NA) in addition to the other locations of the School.

To empower the training and international aspects of the PhD Program, it is mandatory, for each PhD Student to spend a period of at least one year (even divided in different quarters or semesters) in University o Research Centers abroad.
The official language of the PhD Program is English; lessons and seminars will be held in English, such as all the scientific presentations given by the PhD Students. Website, application material and support material will be in English.

3-immagine Medicina

Andrea Ballabio (MED/03)
Full Professor of Medical Genetics
Department of Translational Medicine
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy 
Tigem Director

Below is a first draft of the educational offer of the doctorate in Molecular and Translational Medicine which can be modified and expanded.

download pdf

Duration of the Ph.D.: 4 years
Coordinator: Prof. Andrea Ballabio
Grants: Every year SSM offers 6 positions for this Ph.D. program.
Each grant is 19,000€ per year.
Every grant comes with extra funds for research activity.


Students holding:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in the scientific field, obtained pursuant to Ministerial Decree 509/1999 and subsequent modifications and / or additions;
  • a degree obtained in accordance with previous teaching systems (whose legal course lasts at least four years);
  • an equivalent academic qualification from foreign universities

can participate in the admission competition

Recommended requirement is a good professional knowledge of English which will be anyway assessed by the Committee during the selection procedures (which will be carried out in English).

The admission to the PhD Program is through a competition based on titles, research project and interview. The selection in a preliminary evaluation of the candidate titles, including:

  1. curriculum vitae
  2. copy of scientific publications if present
  3. a motivational letter, in which the reasons of the graduate’s candidacy are clearly and convincingly explained.
  4. A brief scientific report in English language, containing the description of the Master’s degree thesis, or in alternative a description of a research experience or research project. The description should include the state of the art, the objectives, the results obtained, the methods used and potential future development.
  5. Moreover, the candidate can ask two referees to provide a reference letter in support of his/her candidacy


The second step of the selection will include:

– an interview with the Selection Committee, which will consist of the presentation (supported by an audiovisual presentation) of the project carried out by the candidate during their Master’s degree thesis or of a Research project in which they were eventually involved during their scientific career. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and a general discussion.

The number of students admitted to the PhD course each year is determined by the competent entities in the Scuola Superiore Meridionale.

The training activity develops over a four-year period in order to allow continuous contact between teaching staff and doctoral students.

The teaching activity will be concentrated in predetermined periods of the first three years of the course; during the last year, no face-to-face lessons will be scheduled, as students will be involved in completing the experiments and drafting the doctoral thesis.

For each PhD cycle, the PhD teachers will organize basic, specialist and complementary skills courses, in accordance with the interdisciplinary characterization of the PhD course. Each course will include theoretical and practical lessons given by the PhD teachers and by external teachers chosen ad hoc on the basis of their skills.
The student is expected to participate in the scientific seminars scheduled on a weekly basis by the Institute which hosts the doctoral course, which has a long tradition of national and international guests of the highest scientific profile. Participation in the seminars will constitute a title for the acquisition of university credits (CFU).


I year: Basic courses (Introductory Course)

Introductory lessons for a total 20 hours of frontal and / or practical lessons.
At the end of the Course an assessment test will be held.


II year: Specialistic Courses

They include subjects concerning the various Research topics of the doctoral program and include 24 lessons for a total of 48 hours of frontal and / or practical lessons.

At the end of the Course an assessment test will be held.

III year: Complementary Skills

They include 6 lessons for a total of 12 hours of frontal and / or practical lessons.

These courses are intended to provide doctoral students with elements of financial management and Research communication.

The course ends with a learning and assessment test.

IV year

The fourth year will be devoted essentially to the finalization of the thesis and no specific courses will take place.

Seminars, Data Clubs:

Each PhD Student will present their Research advancement to TIGEM community once a year. Moreover, the participation in Institute seminars with National and International high-level speakers is mandatory, for a total of at least 320 hours.

The Research activity is carried out by each PhD student under the supervision of a Tutor chosen among the members of the Faculty Board. The PhD students will be also assigned a Thesis Committee, composed of three senior researchers (in addition to the Tutor).
The Thesis Committee, in addition to assessing the theoretical-practical skills acquired by the PhD student, will be able to contribute to the delineation of the project lines in order to improve the training profile of the  PhD Student or help them to plan possible strategies for overcoming any critical issues inherent to the project proposal, that the candidate will carry out in the following three years. The Tutors (or Supervisors) are required to declare, in the annual report sent to the PhD Coordinator, the data relating to the training and Research activities of each PhD student.
The advancement of each PhD student is assessed by the Faculty Board, at the time of the evaluation of the annual report on the activity carried out, which decrees the passage to the following year. This annual report will be supported by a Power Point presentation, and will be discussed in a plenary session afore the Thesis Committee.

The transition from the second to the third and from the third to the fourth year will take place on the basis of the evaluation by the Thesis Committee of the progress of the Research project, as defined in the project proposal presented by the candidate at the end of the first year.

The discussion of the thesis and the awarding of the PhD title will take place at the end of the fourth year, provided that the work presented in the thesis work has been published in an International Journal accredited by the Scientific Community and that the PhD student is among the authors of the aforementioned publication.

The doctoral course intends to enter and consolidate an International Scientific Network with the aim to encourage the mobility of learners and teachers, in line with the scientific tradition of the host Institute made up of scientific networks of excellence in areas related to all Research topics.

Listed below are the industries with which TIGEM has entered into commissioned Research contracts:

  • -BioMarin, Novato, CA, US
    -Takeda Shire, Boston, MA, US
  • -Casma Therapeutics, Boston, MA, US
  • -Zambon SPA, Bresso, Milan, IT
  • Innovavector, Pozzuoli, Italy
  • NGD, Pozzuoli, Italy

National collaborations:

– University of Naples Federico II

Department of Translational Medicine
Department of Advanced Biomedicine
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies
University Hospital-Section of Pediatrics

– University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
Department of Precision Medicine
Ophthalmological Research Unit

– University of Palermo
Department of Surgical and Oncological Disciplines

-National Research Council
Department of Biomedicine
Department of Mathematics

– National Institute of Molecular Genetics (Milan).


International Collaborations

  • Baylor College of Medicine (Houston)
  • Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism (Irvine University, California)
  • University College London (London)
  • Sbarro Health Research Organization (Philadelphia)

The following activities are managed in concert with the other PhDs of the Southern High School

Language courses: Italian language courses for foreigners, as well as English, French, German and Spanish are available at the university.
Computer skills: The School organizes short courses to train PhD students in the critical use of digital resources and seminars to familiarize students with tools such as reference managers and spreadsheets.
Management of research, knowledge of research systems and funding sources: The School organizes training activities to deepen the management of a research, also in relation to how to find funding. It also organizes meetings on the drafting of research projects with winners of ERC, FIRB and Fellowship abroad.

The School organizes activities for the deepening of the rules relating to the exploitation and dissemination of scientific research, the protection of research results and authors, the protection of intellectual property and patenting procedures in the national and international field.

Alberto Auricchio (MED/03)

Professore Ordinario di Genetica Medica

Dipartimento di Scienze biomediche avanzate

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem- Principal Investigator


Andrea Ballabio (MED/03)

Professore Ordinario di Genetica Medica

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Traslazionali

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Tigem – Direttore scientifico


Nicola Brunetti Pierri (MED/03)

Professore Associato di Genetica Medica

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Traslazionali

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem – Associate Investigator



Davide Cacchiarelli (BIO/11)

R.T.D. Biologia Molecolare, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Traslazionali

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem-Assistant Investigator


Antonella De Matteis (BIO/13)

Professore Ordinario di Biologia Applicata

Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Biotecnologie Mediche

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem- Principal Investigator


Diego di Bernardo (ING-IND/34)

Professore Associato di Bioingegneria Industriale

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica, dei Materiali e della Produzione Industriale, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem- Principal Investigator


Brunella Franco (MED/03) – COORDINATORE

Professore Ordinario di Genetica Medica

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Traslazionali

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem- Principal Investigator


Giancarlo Parenti (MED/38)

Professore Ordinario di Pediatria Generale e Specialistica

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Traslazionali

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem- Associate Investigator



Carmine Settembre (BIO/17)

Professore Associato di Istologia

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Traslazionali

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem- Associate Investigator


Vincenzo Nigro (MED/03)

Professore Ordinario

Dipartimento Medicina di Precisione

Universita’ della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italia

Ricercatore Tigem – Principal Investigator, Coordinator Telethon Undiagnosed Program


Prof Michelino De Laurentiis (MED/06 – Oncologia Medica)

Direttore del Dipartimento di Oncologia Senologica e Toracica, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS “Fondazione G. Pascale”, Napoli

Professore Aggregato presso il Dipartimento di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Molecolare e Clinica

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia

 R.T.D e Dirigente Medico presso il Dipartimento di Medicina clinica e Chirurgia 

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia


Michele Carbone (MED/08 – Anatomia Patologica)

Professore Ordinario di Anatomia Patologica

Dipartimento di Medicine Sperimentale e Clinica

Università Magna Grecia, Catanzaro, Italia


Antonio Giordano (MED/08 – Anatomia Patologica)

Professore Ordinario di Anatomia e Istologia Patologica,

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Chirurgiche e Neuroscienze,

Laboratorio di Tecnologie Biomediche ed Oncologia Sperimentale

Università di Siena, Italia


Salvatore Pece (MED  04 – Patologia Generale)

Professore Ordinario di Patologia Generale

Università degli Studi di Milano.

Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milano, Italia


Robin Ali (BIO/18)

Professore di Genetica Molecolare Umana

Istituto di oftalmologia

Facoltà di Scienze cerebrali

University College London, Londra, Regno Unito


Lukas Huber (BIO/13)

Professore di Biologia CellulareIstituto di Biologia Cellulare Università Medica di Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria


Thomas Langer (BIO/12)

Professore di Biochimica

Istituto di Genetica

Università di Colonia, Colonia, Germania

Istituto Max Planck per Biologia dell’invecchiamento,  Colonia, Germania


Elena I. Rugarli (BIO/18)

Professore di Biomedicina Molecolare Dipartimento di Biologia, Istituto di GeneticaUniversità di Colonia, Colonia, Germania. Cluster di eccellenza di Colonia sulle risposte allo stress cellulare nelle malattie associate all’invecchiamento (CECAD)Università di Colonia, Colonia, Germania.