Available Thesis Projects

This is a list of projects for the academic year 2019/2020.

Please contact davide.sassera@unipv.it if you are interested.

Comparative genomics of bacterial symbionts (for one Master degree student)

The aim of this project is to sequence and analyse by bioinformatic methods the genomes of novel bacterial symbionts belonging to different lineages (e.g. RickettsialesCoxiellaceae, Enterobacteriales) and associated to diverse eukaryotic hosts (e.g. ciliates, ticks, tardigrades). In particular, comparative genomic analyses will be performed in order to elucidate the evolutionary history of the symbionts and the specific adaptations involved in the host-associated lifestyle and interactions

The student will learn the basic techniques of bioinformatic applied to evolutionary studies. The project is fully bioinformatic with no wet-lab work.


Genomic epidemiology of nosocomial bacteria (for one Bachelor/Master degree student)

This project is focused on genomic characterization of most common bacteria (e.g. K. pneumoniae, S. aureus, A. baumannii) widespread in hospitals and involved in Healthcare Associated Infections, through bioinformatic analysis. The project will include evolutionary reconstruction and detection of antibiotic resistance by in silico approaches. The students will learn basic bioinformatic tools applied in genomics, implemented by programming skills.
This work will be computer-based only and will not include any wet-lab experience. Inclination to informatics is recommended.


Molecular screening of tick-borne microorganisms (for one or two Bachelor/Master degree students)

This project aims to evaluate the presence of pathogens and symbionts in ticks using molecular biology techniques. The students will perform DNA extraction, PCR and potentially qPCR, Sanger sequencing. The obtained results will be subjected to phylogenetic and statistical analysis. Previous lab experience is a plus but is not required.