Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Napoli Federico II
Course Coordinator & Office of Graduate Studies
081 7463757
Students' Office
Thematic Areas
At the University of Naples "Federico II"several research groups exist which are involved on the different aspects of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. From them it has been created a PhD programme of interdisciplinary nature. Four prestigious research institutes, Institute of Genetics and Biophysics "A. Buzzati-Traverso" - CNR, Ceinge, Tigem and Stazione Zoologica "Anton Dohrn", take part to this educational project. The research lines, related to the PhD, and active at the proponent departments are: Computational chemistry; Molecular modeling; Computational methods for sequence analysis; Basic and advanced statistical methods for biological data analysis; Comparative genomics for the identification of functional regions; Pattern Recognition; Literature data mining; Calculability in biological environment; Mathematical modeling of complex regulatory networks; Self organization in biological systems; Modeling of complex systems; Evolutionary modeling; Simulation of biological systems; Systems Biology; Synthetic Biology; Computational evolutionary biology; Analysis of complex genetic traits; Advanced genetic linkage analysis.
The aim of the PhD program is to train young researchers in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics, by merging research activities and expertise on the usage of information technologies and of chemical, physical and mathematical modeling in biology and medicine.
Selection & Admission
Admission to the Research Doctorate program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics requires passing a pre-selection based on a written and oral examination (in Italian or English), taken in two different days at our University. However, foreigners may also apply to a special selection which will be initially based only on the curriculum vitae, qualifications and references. A master of science or equivalent degree in a subject related to the PhD program is required for admission. However, a very strong four-years bachelor may also be considered sufficient. Short-listed candidates will be then invited for an oral examination or interview. The latter, for foreigners, will typically be held by web-conference or by telephone call from an Italian consular structure.
Students' Monitoring
The normal duration of the PhD program is three years and its activity is measured in Credits (180 CFU = 60 CFU x 3 years). However, if the doctoral dissertation requires further work, or if there are other serious reasons, the Rector, with the approval of the PhD program Faculty Committee, may authorize postponing the deadline of the dissertation presentation by one year (not extending the fellowship). By the end of each year, every student has to write a report on his/her study and research activities, and normally, also to present his/her research activity in a seminar during the PhD students workshop. At the end of every academic year (in October), the program Faculty Committee will decide on the admission to the subsequent year and, in the third year, to the final examination. During the three years, but preferentially at the beginning of the program, all graduate students will have to perform some coursework and pass the corresponding exams.
Training & Education
The educational activity is mainly aimed on providing a basis of biology, its more recent achievements, new technical approaches to physical/mathematical modeling and data analysis developed in the last years by Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. The content of main courses will include these elements, whereas supplementary courses and seminars will cover more specific aspects. PhD students, who do not possess basis of biology, genetics and biochemistry must obtain them by attending a basic course of biology, genetics and biochemistry, among that ones offered by several master/bachelor courses of studies. The official language of the program is English. All courses specifically offered for the PhD program are given in English as well as the final dissertation or thesis, the intermediate reports, and seminars.
Doctoral Thesis
At the beginning of the first year, several projects are proposed to PhD students. Normally by the end of the first year, each student will have to define his/her research plan for the final dissertation and choose two advisors (called "tutors") belonging to the PhD program faculty.
All students during the three years of the program can have stages abroad lasting not less than 6 months. The activity of PhD students during these stages will be planned, in advance, by the host international institutions and the departments involved in our PhD program.
The results of the research performed during the PhD program must be written down in the doctoral dissertation (or thesis). This dissertation will be the main subject of evaluation in the final examination (or dissertation "defense") for the awarding of the research doctor"s degree. Should the candidate fail the final examination, he/she will be allowed to repeat it once, after one year.
Each year the University defines the number of fellowships (three years fellowships) to be devoted to the starting PhD program. According to this number, the candidates, that after the selection, get the first places in the final list will be awarded of a fellowship. However an additional number of students placed in the final list but not owner of a fellowship can be enrolled in the PhD program.
The University of Naples can provides very few accommodations for students and they are typically devoted to foreigners. However an hosting office provides all the help possible to allow PhD students to find a comfortable accommodation in the town.