The University of Pisa is one of the most ancient and prestigious universities in Europe, is organised in 20 departments and is characterized by a wide range of study programs including 58 First cycle degree, 65 Long cycle degree, 9 long single-cycle degree, 37 PhD programs, 51 Specialisation Schools, and 67 Masters courses. The academic staff includes 1459 professors and researchers, 1537 administrative employees, and more than 50.000 students. According to the most recent QS World University Rankings list 2019 released by the Quacquarelli Symonds (www.qs.com), the UNIPI is one of top ten Italian Universities. In particular, in 2013 the UNIPI obtained the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) label and the ECHE (Erasmus Charter for Higher Education). UNIPI is an early adopter of the European Charter & Code for Researchers and a member of the European initiative EURAXESS – Researchers in Motion, providing access to a complete range of information and support services to researchers wishing to pursue their research career in Europe. UNIPI considers the process of technology transfer to the private sector and society one of the key points of its mission. As a result, since 2004 it has created 37 spin-offs, 30 of which still maintain this formal relationship with the University and boasts 85 patents awarded.
UNIPI is currently involved in a large number of EU-funded projects, both under the FP7 (157 granted projects-50 million euros, 27 as coordinator-17 million euros) and Horizon 2020 (97 granted projects-33 million euros, 15 as a coordinator-12 million euros) programs.
The Department of Biology of the University of Pisa brings together a range of disciplines to understand life at all levels of biological organization in a wide variety of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, protists animals, plants and humans. Research plays a central role in the Department’s mandate and focuses on the organization and functioning of cells, tissues, organs, individuals, populations and ecological communities in an evolutionary context. In addition to fundamental research, the mission of the Department of Biology is also to promote the applied aspects of the research, as for example with the research program in biotechnology. The Department of Biology has good infrastructure and instrumentation to ensure laboratory and field advanced research. The units of the Department of Biology consist of high-profile scientific researchers who have developed national and international partnerships with leading research laboratories in their disciplines and who are able to attract funding from public and private organizations both nationally and internationally. The teaching staff of the Department is mostly involved in undergraduate programs in Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Environmental and Natural Sciences, and in many degree courses. The Department of Biology also offers a PhD course in Biology.
In the frame of Recycle UNIPI will offer a multidisciplinary approach to the study of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms involved in the regulation of the cycles of elements, with a particular interest to the Carbon and Sulphur cycles. The study is focused on different aspects comprising the study of pristine and polluted ecosystems. The approach consists in the isolation and characterisation of new microbial organisms. Their characterisation embraces their taxonomical classification and the study of their function in the different ecosystems, with a particular interest to the metabolic networks regulating the cycle of the elements in the different ecological niches. The microbial ecology of the ecosystems of interest is studied by the adoption of a molecular approach like the massively parallel sequencing methods to investigate the entire complement of organisms inhabiting a certain environment. The next-generation sequencing methods (NGS) adopted include a variety of procedures to holistically study any biological system such as amplicon sequencing (for variant identification and phylogenetic surveys), whole genome shotgun sequencing (for single organism genome and metagenomes) and RNA-Seq (for transcriptomes, metatranscriptomes and identification of non-regular RNAs).