The objective of the Master Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) is to provide a deep and integrated knowledge of the biological systems from the cellular and molecular levels to complex organisms, together with the ability to use such knowledge in specific areas of applied biology such as biotechnology, biomedicine and neurosciences.
The educational activities specific of each curriculum (biomolecular, biomedical, neurobiological) will allow students to improve their knowledge and skills in the following areas:
- biophysics, molecular structure, bioinformatics and system biology;
- human anatomy, medical genetics, general pathology (with particular reference to pathogenetic mechanisms);
- human or comparative neuroanatomy, cell, molecular and developmental neurobiology, neuropathology.
Remarkable skills in advanced, innovative and experimental methodologies will be provided by courses of the specific curriculum as well as by the expertise acquired during the preparation of the experimental thesis. This latter can be developed both in Italy or abroad, in the frame of internationalization activities and student mobility programs (Erasmus). On the whole, all the activities described above will provide a good command of the scientific methodology, conferring a good level of autonomy in the design and execution of scientific experiments as well as in data presentation and discussion. Some courses dedicate time to the discussion of bioethical issues and social impact of the methodology described.
All the activities reported above proved graduates in Cellular and Molecular Biology with skills to read and critically discuss scientific papers pertaining to specific topics, allowing a correct interpretation and use of the relevant information, taking advantage of an appropriate scientific language.
Graduates in Cellular and Molecular Biology can carry out professional activities and management recognized by the in force rules as skills of the Biologists in all the specific applicative areas. While these are partially overlapping with those of the Bachelor graduates, the Master Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology confers a wide culture and a high professional profile, allowing a good level of decision-making autonomy. In particular, graduates in Cellular and Molecular Biology will receive tools in order to:
- enroll in the 'A' section of the Biologist National Register, upon getting through the State Exam;
- settle in professional and planning activities in basic and applied Research Institutes, in public and private bioanalytic laboratories, in the pharmaceutical industry, in promotional and developmental activities in the field of scientific and technological innovation, as well as in management and planning activities involving cellular and molecular technologies;
- enroll in PhD Schools, in Italy or abroad;
- enroll in Specialty Medical Schools opened to LM-6 graduates.
The PhD is the natural educational prosecution for people interested in research, while the Specialty Medical School Degree is necessary to enter upon the manager career in the Social Security Service.
The Biologist works in public or private Research Institutes, enterprises and industries, in several fields: biomedicine, molecular biology and biotechnology, genetics, environment, water, air, soil and food hygiene, physical chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, toxicology, pharmacology and in quality control procedures.
In particular, graduates in Cellular and Molecular Biology can work in:
- Universities, Research Centers, hospitals, diagnosis centers, Regional Agency for Environment Protection, industries (pharmaceutical, food, agroindustrial, etc.);
- State Education, as teachers.
To work as a Biologist, either as a freelance or as an employee in Corporations, graduates in Cellular and Molecular Biology must be enrolled in the 'A' section of the Biologist National Register, accessible only upon getting through the State Exam. The Specialty School Degree, obtained by attending one of the Specialty Medical Schools opened to LM-6 graduates, is mandatory to work in the Social Security System.
As previously reported, the Biologist works in extremely different contexts and in several types of institutions (public and private companies, Universities, Research Centers, schools). Some Biologists carry out field activities in natural environments, while others mainly work in laboratories. In every field, since he/she participates to complex experiments, the Biologist is frequently engaged in group work, where he/she manages with other professionals. In the environmental milieu, in particular, the Biologists frequently interact with Naturalists, Geologists and Chemists, while in the biomedical milieu he/she frequently interacts with Medical Doctors and other Medical professionals. Moreover, the recent development of the so-called '-omic' techniques (genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, etc.), and the consequent need to manage and elaborate huge amounts of data put Biologists in close contact with Bioinformatics.
As frequently witnessed by the press, Biology investigates topics of general interest, such as the effects of changes of the natural environment on both animal and plant life, the effects of genetically modified organisms, human genome and microbioma characteristics and functions, food-related risks. The results of the researches carried on by Biologists can markedly contribute to human health improvement, to community welfare as well as to natural environment preservation and improvement. As an example, the comprehension of the pathogenetic mechanisms and micro-organism role, the development of new vaccines, antibiotics and other drugs are among the translational activities carried out by graduates in Cellular and Molecular Biology. On the other side, human activities in the modern age have markedly affected the environment, and at present the biological knowledge is fundamental to cope with a sustainable development. For this reason, Biologists will be crucial to provide cues in order to shape decision-making at different levels (government, industry, commerce, education), as well as the public opinion. Indeed, consciously facing social, health, legal and ethical challenges posed by the new technologies is the only way to reconcile development, justice and life on the Earth.