Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 08/05/2019 - Expires on: 12/06/2019

IIT has established a collaboration with Università degli studi di Genova a PhD curriculum in Neuroscience and Neurotechnologies within the general course in Neuroscience and finances several PhD positions. All research activities are expected to be developed within IIT premises, in Genoa, under the supervision of IIT researchers. Training will be shared between the University and the IIT.

2 positions are offered within the UE funded project Fet-Proactive Hermes and linked to the following research projects:

Title: Biohybrid Systems for Functional Brain Repair in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

This highly interdisciplinary project merges together brain organoids bioengineering, neuromorphic electronics and artificial intelligence to achieve the anatomical repair of the hippocampus and the functional restoration of limbic networks in temporal lobe epilepsy models. This is a high-risk/high-gain project that requires creative thinking and strong problem-solving skills. An interdisciplinary, team-oriented and proactive mindset are a must; you should demonstrate a strong interest in engineering approaches to the neurosciences and a strong will of learning.

During the project, you will interact with experts in the above-mentioned fields to design and perform open-loop and closed-loop electrophysiology experiments (field potential and/or microelectrode array recording) using brain slices and 2D/3D cell cultures.

You should hold a Master’s degree in Life Science (Medicine, Biology Biotechnology, Pharmacy, or similar). A good background in in vitro electrophysiology is desirable; knowledge of epilepsy models and good command of MATLAB programming language and Simulink environment are a plus.

Tutor: Gabriella Panuccio (gabriella.panuccio@iit.it).

Title: Engineering a biomimetic extracellular matrix to promote brain regeneration

This is a highly interdisciplinary European project, whose long-term vision is to achieve the full healing of epilepsy, an incurable brain disorder characterized by aberrant synaptic transmission and nervous tissue degeneration. The brain damage regards not only the neurons and their synaptic connections, but also the surrounding microenvironment that provides mechanical support and bio-cues to the cells, i.e. the extracellular matrix. In the context of this project, the PhD candidate will conduct a research thesis on exploiting molecular components of the brain extracellular matrix and biomimetic materials to rebuild the brain matter that is damaged or lost due to epilepsy. The experimental approach will include biomaterial analysis (bioactivity; physico-mechanical properties), stem cell and brain organoid technology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and optical approaches for functional imaging. Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in Life Science (Biotechnology, Biology, Pharmacy, Medicine, or similar) and should show a very strong interest both in neuroscience and in neural tissue engineering for regenerative medicine.

Tutor: Gemma Palazzolo (gemma.palazzolo@iit.it)

Successful candidates will develop the research project at the Enhanced Regenerative Medicine lab in Genova where they will be part of an exciting and international working environment and will work in brand new laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Excellent communication skills in English, as well as ability to interact effectively with members of the research team, are mandatory.

In order to apply for these positions, it is mandatory to refer to the procedures administered by the Università di Genova. The official call is available at this link: Bando di ammissione al XXXV ciclo del dottorato di ricerca the relevant section for both positions are found in the Allegato A, in the Neuroscience section, curriculum Neuroscienze & Neurotecnologie. Indications on how to apply are also available at the Phd School at Università di Genova - Admission Guide

Please, apply before deadline: 12am (noon - Italian time) on June 12th 2019

Involved Research lines
Enhanced Regenerative Medicine


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.