Project Structure and Management

The comprehensive goal of this proposal is to create a framework of administrative, research training and educational activities, shared by four research institutions and one pharmaceutical SME (see, to support the development of a highly competitive International Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine (Acronym: INTEGRAMM). The operational goal of the proposal is the implementation of a pilot project involving a common set of qualified procedures to select, monitor, train and assess graduate students at multiple locations towards the achievement of an international PhD degree in molecular medicine. The broad scientific area of the program (molecular medicine) prospectively covers preclinical as well as translational post-genomic research, including selected aspects of drug development research, pertaining to the study of human disease at multiple levels, from molecular pathogenesis to therapeutic intervention. By being connected to renowned clinical research Centers, the Institutions undersigning this proposal can offer a wide array of research projects and training activities that may support such an ambitious goal and be attractive not only to students with life sciences degrees (B.Sc., M.Sc., M.Phil.) but also to young Medical Doctors. However, the participating groups, which form the core of a recently funded EU Network of Excellence (FP6-502935: “Targeting Cell Migration in Chronic Inflammation”, see below) will develop the pilot project on a more targeted, albeit multidisciplinary scientific area (cell migration in inflammation and immunity), to avoid loss of focus and to create a critical mass of scientists and laboratories that will provide strong support to the program’s development. The pilot project will involve the enrolment of 10 (ten) three-year fellows, entering the program during the first two years and completing their curricular activities within the framework structure of the Program. A number (4) of short-term (6 months) fellowships will also be awarded to support the mobility of junior fellows undertaking exploratory projects. The Program will be co-financed by the aforementioned Network of Excellence as it pertains to the organization, coordination and management of the educational activities. The host laboratories located in the participating institutions will instead cover the costs of training using research funds originated from national funding agencies. The PhD degree shall be initially awarded by Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Milan, IT) and recognized by the participating Universities, which will act as co-sponsoring establishments in the Program through the signing of co-tutoring agreements. At a later stage in the proposal, all the participating Universities will extend such agreements with the aim of awarding a joint PhD degree. INTEGRAMM will be strongly oriented towards promoting a swift transition from the scholarly activities of the enrolled students to a professional career in either academic or industrial research. To this aim, the program involves the participation of a pharmaceutical SME (BioXell, SpA), which will expose students, through direct training and specific educational activities, to the current strategies and assets adopted by industrial entities in post-genomic biomedical research.