A 3-year PhD fellowship in regenerative biology is available at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, as part of the PhD school in Molecular and Regenerative Medicine.

The fellowship is a part of the REGENERATE-IT doctoral network, funded by the EU Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA).

For the full list of open positions available within the network and more info see the website www.regenerate-it.eu.

The REGENERATE-IT Consortium

This project is a part of the REGENERATE-IT Doctoral Network, funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA). The network brings together a full spectrum of disciplines – from fundamental to applied research – to train the next generation of researchers in regenerative biology and adjacent fields. It is a consortium of high-profile researchers from various universities, research institutions, and companies spanning 12 academic institutions in 10 European countries (the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, and the UK). The competencies available in the REGENERATE-IT Network are further expanded by the involvement of one non-academic beneficiary, four industrial partner organizations, a patent attorney firm, a non-profit research organization, a scientific publisher, a patient advocacy group, and Women Scientists network organization. The REGENERATE-IT consortium offers 12 fully funded PhD positions to work with leading European researchers to advance the frontiers of regenerative biology and medicine. More information about all projects is available on the project website www.regenerate-it.eu

Job description

We are seeking an ambitious, highly motivated, and technically skilled candidate preferably with experience in cell and molecular biology. The objective of this project is to fully characterize the involvement of stem cells (holoclone-forming cells) and transient amplifying cells (meroclone and paraclone-forming cells) during homeostasis and wound healing, both in vivo and in vitro. Through clonal analysis, he/she will study the division dynamic of holoclones, meroclones and paraclones, with a particular focus on biological pathways controlling their activity during regeneration. Moreover, he/she will identify holoclones’ key molecular pathways that can be used in the clinic to allow the identification and – eventually – the selection of a pure population of stem cells for gene correction.

The project will reveal how keratinocyte stem cells maintain their self-renewal and clonogenic potential during an entire lifespan, and which pathways induce their activation during wound healing. Moreover, he/she will identify a useful marker for identifying keratinocyte stem cells in culture for gene and cell therapy applications.

Working Environment

The activity of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine ”Stefano Ferrari” (CMR) of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia is focused on basic and translational research of epithelial stem cells and is aimed at their clinical application in cell and gene therapy.

Autologous cultures of limbal stem cells are used for corneal regeneration and restoration of visual acuity in patients with severe corneal chemical and thermal burns associated to total unilateral or severe bilateral limbal stem cells deficiency. Such cultures obtained the designation of orphan medicinal product in 2008 and Conditional Approval in 2015 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Autologous cultures of human epidermal stem cells are routinely used in the life-saving treatment of massive full-thickness burns. Co-cultures of keratinocytes and melanocytes are used for the repigmentation of stable vitiligo and piebaldism. Cultures of genetically modified epidermal stem cells are currently and successfully used for the first ex-vivo gene therapy clinical trial for Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa, a devastating genetic skin disease.

Training Activities

The fellow will receive training in molecular and cellular biology, microscopy, and genomic technologies from the host lab, in the context of the research project, as well as training in regenerative biology in the context of the REGENERATE-IT doctoral network. The training will be adapted to the needs and capabilities of the fellow. This fellowship will involve periods of training/research in the laboratories of other REGENERATE-IT partners and participation in yearly meetings and summer schools organized by the network, to take full advantage of the wide range of expertise available in the network. The fellow will have opportunities to develop presentation, writing, and other transferable skills, and to participate in outreach activities. More information about the training activities is available on the project website www.regenerate-it.eu


  • You should have a Master’s degree in science, preferably in molecular biosciences (molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, genetics, or genomics). Practical experience in developmental biology, genetics, microscopy, genomics, or bioinformatics is an advantage. Strongly motivated students from other disciplines (e.g., physics, chemistry) are also encouraged to apply.
  • You should be able to communicate well in both written and spoken English.
  • You may have any nationality, but you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to your appointment (short stays such as holidays are not taken into account).
  • You should submit a motivation letter and a CV.

The candidate needs to be able to commence no later than 1st November 2023.

What we offer

You will receive an attractive salary following MSCA regulations for doctoral candidates. The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months. The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if required).

Apply for this position

Please submit your application (motivation letter and a CV) by April 30th 2023 via e-mail to michele.deluca@unimore.it.

Marie Curie PhD Fellowship for a PhD position at the Prof. De Luca Lab