PhD Course

Arterial Hypertension and Vascular Biology (ARHYVAB)

Thematic area Medical and Biomedical Sciences
Duration 3 years
Language English
PhD Programme Coordinator Gian Paolo Rossi

ARHYVAB PhD entails training in both experimental and clinical research. Main topics are vascular biology; endothelial dysfunction; salt/water homeostasis; pathophysiology of blood pressure control; secondary hypertension.

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(ARHYVAB PhD entails specific commitment and training in the following areas:

1. Experimental research

  • Vascular biology with emphasis on the endothelium and endothelial dysfunction;
  • Salt and water homeostasis;
  • Pathophysiology of blood pressure control;
  • Gene and molecular investigation;
  • Experimental atherosclerosis;
  • Arterial hypertension from animal models;
  • Molecular and experimental pharmacology;
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anti-hypertensive medications.

2. Clinical research

  • Epidemiology and statistics applied to hypertension;
  • Principles of pharmaco-economics applied to hypertension;
  • Methodologies for the assessment of target organ damage in hypertension;
  • Pathophysiology of the secondary forms of arterial hypertension;
  • Guidelines for risk stratification and treatment;
  • Design and planning of clinical trials in hypertension.

First Year of Research
The curriculum will involve general research methods training. An introductory course is held every year at the Venetian Institute of Medicine (VIMM) by the Faculty members of all PhD Courses of the University of Padua and outside experts in scientific fields. The course is focused on ‘How to do research” and covers applications of chemistry and physics to Medicine, genetics, molecular biology, statistics, ethics and social aspects.
Attendance at the research workshops and seminars held by the Faculty members and PhD students or outside speakers, mostly focused on the cardiovascular system.
Advanced coursework in the laboratories. The PhD student is educated at a variety of techniques and introduced to a wide array of inter-disciplinary and comprehensive cardiovascular disease programs.
At the end of the 1st year the PhD student is expected to have learned skills for organizing and presenting research. He/she will be assigned to a specific research project under the supervision of an experienced tutor. Whether 1st year PhD student is upgraded to PhD status at the end of the first year of research will depend on his/her performance in the curriculum.

Second and Third Years of Research
Once upgraded to the 2nd year PhD student status, the student will concentrate on his/her PhD labwork to prepare his/her final dissertation. As research progresses, there will be opportunities to present work in progress at research workshops attended by Faculty members and research students.

At the 2nd or the 3rd year the PhD student will spend at least 6 months abroad, at the CARIM at the University of Maastricht, or in another lab that could be of interest for the ongoing research.
An original work focused on the assigned theme aimed at the dissertation must be discussed with the tutor. The defence occurs at the presence of the Faculty members.
The Weekly Meetings (open to the Faculty and PhD students) are held on Wednesday at 08:15 am. Each PhD student can discuss his/her project and share the ongoing results with the Faculty members and other PhD students. Journal Clubs are held on Friday at 08:15 am.