The international PhD program in "Nutraceuticals, functional foods and human health" is a joint PhD program between University of Naples Federico II, University of Valencia (E) and Tshwane University of Technology ofPretoria, South Africa (SA).

The main objective of the "Nutraceuticals, functional foods and human health" program is to impart advanced scientific knowledge in drug discovery, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical science, food chemistry and human nutrition. The program aims at providing training opportunities in conducting state-of-the-art approaches in basic research as well as enhancing skills critical to developing innovative nutraceuticals or functional foods to improve human health. 

Each student will be enrolled in the application process by University of Naples Federico II and he shall conduct his PhD project mainly at the "home" institution but is required to spend at least from six to twelve months in the "host" institution. During this research period out of Italy, the research grant for the students will raise of 50%.

This international PhD degree is designed to capture the broad sweep of research undertaken from organic synthesis and biochemistry, to pharmacological and chemical studies that can identify innovative drugs and new nutraceuticals or functional foods.

Other than conducting their own PhD projects, students are expected to attend seminars, lessons, and workshops included in the PhD program designed to offer tools to progress students beyond their research degree to different disciplines.

In addition, the PhD program supports exchange and mobility of students in foreign institutions in order to experiencing different research approaches, spreading knowledge and sharing ideas. This should allow students to broad their skills beyond their research work. 

The Federico II University of Naples offers through ISU (International Student Union) the International Welcome Desk (IWD) service to assist international PhD students, visiting PhD students, visiting professors, and visiting post doc researchers, offering them useful services for their research stays in Napoli.
IWD provides assistance with:
  • entry visa
  • Italian tax code
  • opening of bank account
  • accommodation

Teaching activities

The Boarding of the "Nutraceuticals, functional foods and human health" course evaluates, organizes, and offers for each cycle a series of educational activities both carried out through lectures and as seminars to obtain 60 CFU. 

The evaluation of the training proposal is modulated annually according to the specific needs of the students and the needs highlighted by the market. 

The offer is divided as follows: 

Basic courses, common to all students:

  • Two different scientific English courses, lasting one year and with weekly frequency, aimed at achieving European certification of knowledge of the English language. In particular, there is an intermediate level course for obtaining PET certification and a more advanced level for obtaining FCE, CAE and similar certifications.
  • Lectures and seminars held by international professors at the Consortium universities of Valencia (Spain) and Thswane (South Africa), and others, aimed at the transfer of transversal skills (for example, ethics in scientific research, preparation of CV, preparation for an interview work, improvement of scientific data communication skills, etc.). 

Annual elective specialized courses organized in modules of 6–8 hours each focused on frontier issues: 

  • "Introduction to Metabolomics", 26-hour course given by Dr. Nunzia Iaccarino
  • "Mass spectrometry: principles and applications in the analysis of foods, nutraceuticals and functional foods", 12-hour course given by Dr. Luana Izzo. 

Seminar cycles, compulsory for all students and held by teachers, mainly foreigners, who are invited and financially supported by the PhD program. 

Students of the doctoral course can also follow and participate in the seminars organized as part of the doctoral course in "Pharmaceutical Sciences".

Partner Institutions

  • Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia di Genova, Italy
  • Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Napoli, Italy
  • Centro di Biotecnologie dell' A.O.R.N. "A. Cardarelli", Napoli, Italy
  • Fondazione Pascale, Napoli, Italy
  • Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno, Portici, Napoli, Italy
  • Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri IRCCS,  Mantova, Italy
  • Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Centro Neurolesi Bonino-Pulejo,  Messina, Italy
  • Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, Italy
  • MNHN, Laboratoire de chimie et biochimie des substances naturelles, 63 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
  • IRD, UMR152 BP529, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Center for Neurologic Diseases, Division of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA 02115, USA
  • Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA 02114, USA
  • William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine  London,  UK
  • The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA
  • Molecular Biology Division,  Veterans Affairs Medical Center,  San Francisco,  CA,  USA
  • Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie, Abt. Molekulare Biophysik/NMR-Spektroskopie, Jena, Germany
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster Coleraine, Cromore Road, BT52 1SA, UK
  • Institute for Advanced Study and Center of Integrated Protein Science, Department Chemie, Technische Universitt Munchen,85747 Garching, Germany
  • Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 2, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark
  • Department of Pharmacology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA
  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology III, Complutense University, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain
  • Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA