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Characterization of Cancer of Unknown Primary Origin: A Paradigm Linking the Stem Phenotype to Metastasis.
University of Torino
Host Lab
Contract Duration
Deadline for application
July 7, 2023

Predoctoral training – PhD position

University of Turin


We are pleased to announce a stimulating opportunity for aspiring researchers (from Italy and abroad) in the field of molecular oncology. We offer a predoctoral training program designed to prepare candidates for admission to the PhD course in Molecular Medicine at the University of Torino Successful candidate(s) will be supported by a salary throughout the beginning of the PhD Course (November 1st, 2023).




The PhD research project, entitled "Characterization of Cancer of Unknown Primary Origin: A Paradigm Linking the Stem Phenotype to Metastasis," will be conducted in the Laboratory of Cancer Stem Cell Research at the Candiolo Cancer Institute - Department of Oncology at the University of Torino, and it will be supervised by Prof. Carla Boccaccio. The project aims to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of an enigmatic oncological condition defined as "cancer of unknown primary origin (CUP)", featuring widespread metastasis and a stem-like phenotype, which currently lacks effective therapeutic options. Molecular pathways supporting the CUP stem and metastatic phenotype have been recently identified in the hosting laboratory (Verginelli et al. Nature Comm. 2021, PMID 33941777). It is anticipated that the research will generate preclinical evidence for innovative clinical treatments. The PhD student will have the opportunity to closely collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of experienced researchers and clinicians and actively participate in the entire process of translational research. This will involve tasks such as contribution to molecular and genetic diagnosis of patients, establishment and full characterization of in vitro and in vivo models, and preclinical experimentation with novel targeted therapies.



-Master's degree in a relevant field (e.g., biotechnology, biological sciences, etc.).

-Proficiency in in vitro techniques such as cell culture and basic biological assays; protein and nucleic acid extraction, quantification and analysis. Experience in mouse manipulation and sample preparation for optical and fluorescent microscopy is appreciated.

-Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills.

-Strong motivation and passion for scientific research.


Application process

Applications for predoctoral training should be sent to Prof. Carla Boccaccio ( by June 30, 2023. The deadline for registration to the PhD competition is July 7, 2023

In the application please include:

-A detailed CV highlighting academic achievements including exam grades and research experience.

-A cover letter expressing motivation and research interests.


-Contact information for at least two referees who can provide recommendation letters.


Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.