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PhD Positions available in Milan
IFOM, Milan, Italy
Host Lab
Simona Polo Lab "Ubiquitin and Signal Transduction"
Contract Duration
4 years
25.000 € per year
Deadline for application

We are seeking two PhD candidates to undertake distinct projects. The first PhD project is focused on the characterization of an E3 ligase involved in neurodegenerative diseases, using Drosophila as a model system. Relevant publications include: Maspero et al EMBO Rep. 2011; Maspero et al NSMB 2013; Savio et al. Curr Biol 2016; Myant et al. EMBO Mol Med 2017; Fajner et al. FEBS Lett 2017. The second PhD project will be devoted to studying the role of an actin motor protein whose depletion causes p53-induced senescence in non-tumor cell lines. Relevant publications include: Wollscheid et al NSMB 2016; He et al Cell Rep. 2016.


The laboratory: The successful applicants will join an enthusiastic and collaborative group where a multidisciplinary approach is pursued. Simona Polo’s group studies the impact of the ubiquitin network in biologically relevant settings with a special emphasis on cancer. For details, visit website


Location: Milan is a vibrant city located close to the Alps. The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) is a highly international academic research center with an outstanding infrastructure for cutting edge science aimed at understanding the molecular processes responsible for the onset and development of cancer. IFOM has joint laboratories in Singapore, China, Japan and India, and is part of a campus that hosts about 400 scientists and results from the integration of IFOM, IEO (European Institute of Oncology), a branch of IIT (Italian Institute of Technology) and a PhD school (SEMM).  


The person: Exceptional graduate students with a high level honors degree in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, medicine or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. Candidates should have a strong desire to develop a successful research career, a substantial laboratory experience, a systematic approach to problem solving, good writing skills, and the capacity to work well with others. Excellent spoken and written English is required. The candidates will gain experience in modern molecular and cellular techniques, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, advanced cellular imaging and structural biology. The candidates will also contribute to manuscript preparation and presentation of research findings at national and international scientific meetings.


How to Apply: Please contact Dr. Simona Polo ( providing the following supporting documents:

  • A cover letter that addresses how you meet the requirements.
  • A curriculum vitae detailing education, professional experience, research experience, publications and relevant competencies.
  • Academic transcript for all post-secondary studies undertaken, complete or incomplete, including the institution grading scale.
  • The name and contact details of at least one referee who can best comment on your prior research experience.