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Foundations of the Life Sciences, Bioethics and Cognitive Sciences

This Ph.D. program is open to students having either a scientific or a philosophical degree, such as Bioinformatics, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Cognitive Science, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, Veterinary. The course aims to create internationally recognized scholars in the fields of the foundations of the Life Sciences, ethical analysis and the relationships between biomedicine and society.

Particularly, the program will deal broadly with the interdisciplinary conceptualization of a personalized (tailored) approach to investigating patients and diseases in different areas, namely:

  • Prevention (including the construct of empowerment and knowledge analysis)
  • Education (including the study of clinical decision making and patient-health provider communication)
  • Clinical (including the study and the evaluation of the patient from a psycho-cognitive point of view in different acute and chronic condition and end-life support)
  • Medical decision making (including decision aids, tools for medical preferences, supporting doctor and health professionals choices)

The issue of personalization will be investigated in the general framework of health and cognitive psychology in conjunction with the tradition of medicine and philosophy. More specifically, the research conducted at FOLSATEC PhD program will be oriented by the question “how can we become expert in evaluating patients conditions and their medical profiles by using a personalized approach?”, with an eye on both psychological factors (cognitive and emotional ones), clinical/medical issues of biomedicine, and ethical analysis of human being.The research activity will be part of the training. In fact theoretical courses will be complemented by a mandatory period of training in a research laboratory.

Scientific coordinator

Prof. Gabriella Pravettoni


Prof. Gabriella Pravettoni
Dr. Ketti Mazzocco

Didactic and research supporting team

Dr. Alessandra Gorini
Dr. Ketti Mazzocco

Research Topics: 
Philosophy of Life sciences
Biomedicine and Society
Psychology and Cognitive Science
Research Center: 
European Institute of Oncology (IEO)
Taught courses: 
Courses include a full multidisciplinary training both in biology, and in logic, philosophy of sciences, ethics and epistemology, Molecular Genetics, Molecular Oncology, Developmental Biology, Genomics, Foundations of Ethics and Bioethics, Phylosophy of the Life Sciences, Evolutionary biology, Foundations of Probability and Statistics, Bioethics, Epistemology, Medical decision making, General philosophy of science, Biolaw, STS and the life sciences.