The activities of the doctoral program in “Neglected and Poverty-related Parasitic Diseases in a One Health perspective” (NePParD) address a current global health issue, affecting both human and animal health, and shared across various scientific areas (Biological, Chemical, Medical, and Veterinary Sciences). The program aims to contribute to the goals of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), particularly the environmental transition, as well as the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Health and Well-Being) and the World Health Organization’s Roadmap “Ending NTDs 2021-2030” for the control and elimination of neglected and poverty-related parasitic diseases (NPRPD). These topics also place the doctoral program within the scope of development cooperation activities and science diplomacy. The Doctoral Research Program in Neglected and Poverty-related Parasitic Diseases in a “One Health perspective” (NePParD) aims to stimulate research and third-level training activities primarily in the fields of human and animal parasitic diseases, to train researchers capable of transferring new knowledge and technologies for the benefit of global health. The doctoral program aligns with the priorities of the National Research Plan (PNR) and at least four of the six missions of the PNRR. It aligns with Mission M4 Education and Research, including synergistic collaboration with industry (M4C2), Mission M6 Health, Mission M2 Green Revolution and Ecological Transition as territorial protection focused on monitoring and controlling parasite vectors (M2C4), and Mission M1 Digitalization, Innovation, and Competitiveness.
- Provide doctoral students with the knowledge and tools to:
- Understand the epidemiological characteristics, modes of transmission, and biological and pathophysiological bases of neglected and poverty-related parasitic diseases (NPRPD).
- Develop new approaches for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of NPRPD.
- Enhance environmental monitoring within the One Health framework.
- Train a new generation of researchers, in Italy and worldwide, to promote international cooperation, particularly in endemic areas, in the field of global human and animal health.
- Promote the development of a network of young researchers in various institutions, in Italy and worldwide, who can utilize advanced technologies and innovative, multidisciplinary, and translational approaches to identify, prevent, and combat NPRPDs, the parasites causing them, and the vectors transmitting them.
Furthermore, the educational activities of the doctoral program are integrated with the educational activities of the Graduate School, which organizes seminars and courses related to cross-cutting skills, many of which focus on promoting entrepreneurship and the ability to design and manage research projects. As a complement to the doctoral training, there is also room for training activities aimed at enhancing communication skills both to specialist audiences and to society.
EXPECTED EMPLOYMENT AND PROFESSIONAL PROSPECTS
The future Doctor of Research will have various professional opportunities. In addition to an academic career, they can find employment in positions of responsibility in national institutions such as the Instituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Health Institute), as well as in international agencies such as the World Health Organization, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the European Food Safety Authority. They can also find professional opportunities in non-profit organizations and NGOs involved in public health. Of course, upon completion of the doctoral program, they may also find employment in public and/or private research centers. The training provided by the doctoral program is designed to prepare students for potential professional placements in different countries and diverse work environments.