Teaching Activities (2020-2021)

The PhD in Chemical and Environmental Sciences offers the following courses:

(Note that this page is under construction and some courses are not available in English yet. The courses planned for the a.y. 2020-2021 are highlighted in red bold characters)

  1. REMOTE SENSING AND GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM: UN APPROCCIO INTEGRATO PER L’ANALISI DEI DATI AMBIENTALI 
  2. PROGETTAZIONE E SVILUPPO SU SCALA INDUSTRIALE DI API (ACTIVE PHARMACEUTICAL INGREDIENTS) 
  3. INNOVATIVE CATALYTIC METHODOLOGIES IN HETEROCYCLIC SYNTHESIS 
  4. DRUG DISCOVERY AND MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY 
  5. CRYSTALLINE MATERIALS AT THE NANOSCALE
  6. CORRELATION AMONG CRYSTAL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES 
  7. NANOMATERIALI: CARATTERIZZAZIONE ALLA MULTISCALA TRAMITE TECNICHE DI TOTAL SCATTERING E RELAZIONI STRUTTURA-PROPRIETA’
  8. MATHEMATICAL AND NUMERICAL METHODS IN CHEMISTRY 
  9. MACCHINE E DISPOSITIVI SUPRAMOLECOLARI 
  10. MATERIALI SUPERCONDUTTORI
  11. MICROSCOPIE ELETTRONICHE A SCANSIONE ED IN TRASMISSIONE 
  12. TECNICHE AVANZATE DI SPETTROMETRIA DI MASSA 
  13. MODELLING OF ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION DISPERSIONS: ANALYSIS OF THE EMISSIONS DUE TO ACCIDENTAL EVENTS
  14. CRITERI GEOLOGICI PER LA LOCALIZZAZIONE DI IMPIANTI AD ELEVATO RISCHIO AMBIENTALE 
  15. IMPATTI DEL CAMBIAMENTO CLIMATICO SULLA BIODIVERSITÀ VEGETALE 
  16. ENVIRONMENTAL FATE MODEL BUILDING 
  17. PRINCIPI E PROCEDURE PER LA COMPATIBILITA’ AMBIENTALE DI PROGETTI DI INTERVENTI DI DISINQUINAMENTO 
  18. BIOMONITORING OF AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS
  19. WILDLIFE ROLE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
  20. PREDICTIVE ECOTOXICOLIGY AND BASIC CONCEPTS FOR MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS  
  21. PARTICULATE MATTER: RISK ASSESSMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN HEALTH
  22. EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE 
  23. METHODS AND MODELS FOR THE EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT TO CHEMICALS
  24. MATERIALS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN
  25. INTRODUCTION TO EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

  26. SUPRAMOLECULAR SYSTEMS FOR PRECISION DRUG DELIVERY

  27. IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE CRYOSPHERE
  28. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Insegnamento # 1


Insegnamento # 2


Course # 3

INNOVATIVE CATALYTIC METHODOLOGIES IN HETEROCYCLIC SYNTHESIS

Teacher: Gianluigi BROGGINI

Objectives: The course aims at furnishing knowledge in the field of the homogeneous catalysis applied to the heterocyclic chemistry, in particular highlighting the importance of heterocycles in drugs.

Programme: Introduction to the transition metal catalysis. Change of ligands, coordination and dissociation. Synthesis of heterocyclic compounds by amination, hydroamination, alkoxylation, hydroalkoxylation and hydroarylation reactions promoted by palladium, gold, platinum and ruthenium catalysts. Carbonylation reactions. Stereoselective reactions: chiral ligands and stereoinductive models. Organocatalysis.

Teaching material: J.A. Joule, K. Mills, Heterocylic Chemistry, Blackwell Science, 2000. Reviews of the recent literature.


Course # 4

DRUG DISCOVERY AND MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY

Teacher: Silvia GAZZOLA

Objectives: The purposes of this course rely on the depiction of the whole drug discovery process and on the main concepts involved in the development of a new drug. In particular, the students will have a general knowledge on how a new drug discovery program starts, how it is carried out and on the main physicochemical parameters that characterize a drug-like molecule.

Program: The course is composed by the following modules:

  • The drug discovery process: from the idea to the market
  • Drug Targets and Pharcodynamics: how a drug interacts with our body.
  • Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics: what the body does to the drug.
  • Lead Discovery and optimization: physical and chemical properties of a drug

Each module is characterized by simple exercises and short workshops. The evaluation test will involved a workshop with a final presentation.

 Books: G. L. Patrick, An introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, Fourth edition, Oxford University Press


Course # 5

CRYSTALLINE MATERIALS AT THE NANOSCALE

Teacher: Federica BERTOLOTTI

Objectives: the course will provide an introduction on the most relevant aspects about nanocrystalline materials: from the synthetic procedures, to the characterization, up to the main applications.

Programme: introduction to nanomaterials and nanotechnology; main synthetic methods for the preparation of engineered nanomaterials; crystal structure and defectiveness of the materials at the nanoscale; characterization methods at different length scales; structure-properties correlations.

Books: Boris Ildusovich Kharisov, Oxana Vasilievna Kharissova and Ubaldo Ortiz-Mendez, CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology, CRC Press , (2015), ISBN 9781466580343; slides and pdf files provided during the course.


Insegnamento # 6

CORRELATION AMONG CRYSTAL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES

Teacher: Simona GALLI

Objectives: The course aims at introducing the students into the rationalization process of the functional properties of a solid-state substance through its crystal structure main features.

Programme: Ranging from organic, to inorganic and hybrid organic/inorganic compounds, the course focuses the attention on some materials classes, chosen as case studies, whose functional properties (e.g. magnetism, electrical conductivity, non-linear optics) and their correlations with the structural aspects are described.

Supporting Material: The course does not rely on book texts, yet on supplementary material prepared ad hoc by the professor, including book chapters in English, integrating what proposed during the front lectures.


Insegnamento # 7


Course # 8

MATHEMATICAL AND NUMERICAL METHODS IN CHEMISTRY 

Teacher: Massimo MELLA

The lecture course would focus on presenting mathematical and numerical tools applicable in the field of chemical modelling needed for both physical and general chemistry applications. Topics of application for the tools presented would be chosen following indication by the students of specific modelling interests. The first half of the course shall introduce topics such as:

  1. ordinary differential equations, with application to chemical kinetics;
  2. partial differential equations, with application to the transport of matter and energy;
  3. functional approximation methods, with application to classical and quantum physics systems.

The second half of the course, exploiting the information presented in the first half, would focus on numerical methods and their applications in chemistry. In particular, we shall discuss:

  1. numerical integration methods for mono-dimensional integrals, ordinary differential equations and their systems;
  2. Monte Carlo integrations with applications to molecular diffusion and polymeric systems;
  3. solution of equations of motion, and their applications in chemistry.

Insegnamento # 9


Insegnamento # 10


Insegnamento # 11


Insegnamento # 12


Course # 13

MODELLING OF ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION DISPERSIONS: ANALYSIS OF THE EMISSIONS DUE TO ACCIDENTAL EVENTS

Teacher: Sabrina COPELLI

Objectives: The aim of the course is to provide a detailed description of the basic phenomenology of pollutant dispersions in an open field following accidental events. In addition, point source models will be introduced that will be able to provide a rough estimate (in terms of concentrations to the generic receptor) of the magnitude of these releases in the atmosphere.

Programme: Introduction to the concept of pollutant dispersions in the atmosphere; dispersion in the atmosphere of neutral, light and heavy gases; classification of releases (continuous / instantaneous); threshold limit values ​​for effects on people following the releases of toxic compounds into the atmosphere; phenomenology of the dispersion of a gas into the atmosphere; effect of atmospheric turbulence on the transport of matter, energy and momentum; the concept of atmospheric stability and the Pasquill classes; trend of wind rate with altitude; Gaussian models for continuous and instantaneous emissions (correlations and simulations using codes developed in the Matlab environment or ALOHA); the influence of mediation time on the measured and experimental concentration value; the effect of the size of a finite source; estimation of inertial and gravitational effects; the influence of the orography of the land and the presence of obstacles on the dispersions; reconstruction and simulation of incidental events: the case of Seveso.

Books:
– Introduzione alla affidabilità e sicurezza nell’industria di processo,  Renato Rota, Giuseppe Nano, Editore: Pitagora, 2007; EAN: 9788837116675; ISBN: 8837116675.
– Lees’ Loss Prevention in the Process Industries: Hazard Identification, Assessment and Control; Frank Lees; Butterworth-Heinemann, November 5, 2012 – 3776 pages.
– Slides and handouts provided by the Professor

Insegnamento # 14


Insegnamento # 15


Course # 16

ENVIRONMENTAL FATE MODEL BUILDING

Teacher: Antonio DI GUARDO

Objectives: To provide the main elements for building environmental fate models for organic contaminants

Programme: Basic unit of chemodynamic and physical models.
Physico-chemical properties and their selection. Partition coefficients, their measurement and estimation. Emissions: estimation and derivation from monitoring data. Creation of the scenario for different compartments. Spatial and temporal dynamics. Meteorological parameters and their measurement. Creation of evaluation,calibration and validation scenarios.

References: D. Mackay 2001 Environmental fate models, the Fugacity approach, CRC Lewis, BocaRaton, FL, USA, as well as slides provided by the instructor.


Insegnamento # 17


Course # 18

BIOMONITORING OF AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS

Teacher: Roberta BETTINETTI

Objective: Fundamental basic elements to study freshwater environments to gather information for their correct management. Great attention will be posed to the Water grabbing problem.

Programme: Chemical-physical and biological characteristics of lakes. Communities and trophic relationship. Sampling of the different matrices, methods and instruments. Contamination of freshwater environments and their ecotoxicological monitoring. Water grabbing.

References: Bettinetti R., Crosa, G., Galassi S. 2007. Ecologia delle acque interne, (CittàStudi Ed.): 150 pp.

Emanuele Bompan e Marirosa Iannelli. Water Grabbing. Guerre nascoste per l’acqua nel XXI secolo.


Course # 19

WILDLIFE ROLE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Teacher: Adriano MARTINOLI

Objectives: Provide basic elements for understanding wildlife management techniques in the context of biological conservation.

Programme: The Italian fauna is the richest of all European countries and amounts to approximately 56,000 known species, a value that represents an underestimation if we consider the recent descriptions, even of endemic species, thanks to the application of molecular biology techniques in the context of systematic and taxonomy. Italy, through the tools identified in the framework of the “National Strategy for Biodiversity”, is committed to integrating biodiversity conservation into economic policies, also as an opportunity for new forms of employment and sustainable social development, strengthening the understanding of the benefits deriving from biodiversity conservation and the perception of direct and indirect costs of biodiversity losses.

In this course, the themes of wildlife management are discussed analyzing their criticality and potential, also by strengthening and promoting a strategic, systemic and synergic approach that takes into account, as a priority, the need for flexibility. The course will also underline that the natural and socio-economic knowledge are essential reference points for operational and management choices.

The main monitoring methods and their effectiveness in collecting and analyzing data useful for the planning of management and conservation strategies, for the formulation and simulation of scenarios and predictive models, will be critically analyzed. Their effectiveness for monitoring and measuring progress and identifying problems in the context of preserving the Italian wildlife heritage will be evaluated.

The course will focus mainly on the following detailed issues:

1-Italian fauna components: definition, description and analysis

2-Wildlife conservation: critical issues and operational paradigms

3-Role of the fauna components in the ecosystems

4-Survey techniques, monitoring, harmonization and analysis of wildlife data

5-Management and conservation strategies

Books: Conservation Biology for All (N.S. Sodhi & P.R.Ehrlich, 2010) – The text can be downloaded at this link: http://www.mongabay.com/conservation-biology-for-all.html


Course # 20

PREDICTIVE ECOTOXICOLOGY AND BASIC CONCEPTS FOR MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS

Teacher: Ester PAPA

Objectives: The course introduces the students to the use of multivariate analysis for the exploration of complex data and to the creation of in silico models able to describe quantitative structure-activity relationships and to predict missing data of interest in ecotoxicological field.

Programme: analysis of the structure of multivariate data and pre-treatment methods; principal techniques of data exploration: Principal Components Analysis, and Clusters Analysis; introduction to alternative methods to animal testing, the 3R strategy, QSAR modeling with examples of prediction of properties and activities for environmentally relevant organic chemicals.

Teaching materials: slides (pdf)


Course # 21

PARTICULATE MATTER: RISK ASSESSMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN HEALTH

Teacher: Andrea CATTANEO

Objectives: Elucidate the risk assessment of particulate matter (PM) with focus on exposure assessment, which is the starting point for the development and implementation of effective risk management policies and control strategies based on the identification of the main determinants of exposure and sources of contamination in indoor and outdoor environments.

Programme: Atmospheric PM: definitions, dimensional and compositional characteristics, adverse effects on human health and action mechanisms. Measurement methods of atmospheric concentrations according to different metrics. Challenges and new research trends on the subject.
–          Approaches to the study of sources and determinants of PM exposure to ultrafine, fine and coarse PM fractions. Similarities and differences between indoor and outdoor environments: the role of infiltration factors. Analysis of recent literature findings on the subject.
–          Risk management: analysis of the most effective exposure mitigation measures and risk management policies. Evaluation of their effectiveness and efficiency on different scales (from microenvironments to regional and global contexts).

Learning materials: the scientific literature on the subject will be provided, as original articles and reviews.

Books: The scientific literature on the subject will be provided, as original articles and reviews.


 

Course # 22

EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE

Teacher: Domenico Maria CAVALLO

 

Objectives: The course aims to illustrate the main theoretical and practical aspects of “Exposure Science” and “Exposure Assessment” for humans in living and working environments.

 

Program: (i) Strategies, methodologies and techniques for assessing exposure to chemical, physical and biological risk factors. (ii) Implementation of control strategies for health risk arising from chemical, biological and physical risk factors. (iii) Implementation of techniques for assessing and controlling emerging risk factors in the workplace and in general environments. The global aim is the protection of human health through the application of the concepts of primary and secondary prevention and (where necessary) through the implementation of tertiary prevention measures.

 

Recommended book: W.R. Oct, BC Steinemann, L.A. Wallace: “Exposure Analysis” –CRC Taylor and Francis (ISBN – 13: 978-1-56670-663-6)


Course # 23

METHODS AND MODELS FOR THE EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT TO CHEMICALS

Teacher: Andrea SPINAZZÉ

Objectives: The course aims to illustrate the main theoretical and practical issues related to the use of estimation models and other experimental methods used for the assessment of occupational and environmental exposure to chemicals, with particular reference to case studies related to emerging risk factors and the latest updates in the exhibition sciences.

Programme:

  • General aspects relating to the chemical risk assessment.
  • Estimation of occupational exposure to chemical agents using estimation models: methodological and practical aspects; reliability and representativeness of the exposure estimates.
  • Approaches and methodologies for assessing the risks of combined exposure to multiple chemicals.
  • Emerging risk factors: use of a probabilistic approach for risk assessment (the case of occupational exposure to engineered nanomaterials).
  • Exposure of the general population to airborne pollutants, for epidemiological studies and the health impact assessment: exposure estimation (dispersion models; Land-use regression model), use of miniaturized sensors for monitoring selected populations and approach ” citizen-science”.

Teaching materials: W.R. Ott, A.C. Steinemann, L.A. Wallace: “Exposure Analysis” – CRC Taylor and Francis (ISBN– 13: 978-1-56670-663-6). Slides (pdf).


Course # 24

MATERIALS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN

Teacher: Vladimiro DAL SANTO

Objectives: To provide an overview of the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier and to provide specific information on innovative materials for its production.

Programme: Introduction to hydrogen as a sustainable energy vector (traditional vectors, alternative vectors, sustainable mobility, and stationary systems). Materials for the production, storage and use of hydrogen. Insights on materials for production: i. heterogeneous catalysts for renewables reforming, pyrolysis, partial oxidation; ii. photo- and photoelectron-catalysts for the production of solar fuels; iii. Electro-catalysts for electrolysers (proton and anionic exchange membrane systems).

Teaching materials: Papers and reviews taken from recent literature; slides (pdf).


Course # 25

INTRODUCTION TO EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

Teacher: Barbara GIUSSIANI

Objectives: Provide the main skills to project and optimize experiments through the “Design of Experiment” approach.

Programme: Brief overview of basic statistics (average, standard deviation, data distribution). Introduction to experimental design techniques. Screening, advanced screening and optimization design: problem set up and data interpretation. D-optimal design.

Books: Brereton, R.G., Chemometrics: Data Analysis for the Laboratory and Chemical Plant, Wiley

Articles provided by the teacher.


Course # 26

SUPRAMOLECULAR SYSTEMS FOR PRECISION DRUG DELIVERY

Teacher: Lorella IZZO

Objectives: The course aim is to provide students with basics on supramolecular chemistry and on its application for rational design of smart nano-carriers for precision drug delivery.

Supramolecular chemistry is defined as chemistry beyond the molecule and is related to organized entities resulting from the self-association of two or more chemical species as a consequence of intermolecular forces. It has developed from host-guest complex to self-assembly of low molecular building blocks or macromolecular aggregates; these can take place in solution, at the solid state or at interfaces. The resulting nano-objects contribute daily to the expansion of the new field of nanotechnology.

Inspired from natural systems, supramolecular chemistry has been widely used in the biomedical field, e.g. in the construction of polymer-based nanoscale drug-delivery systems. Benefiting from the low strength of the non-covalent interactions, supramolecular systems are usually characterized by a dynamical/reversible state, and are therefore able to respond dramatically to small physical or chemical changes of the environment. Additionally, supramolecular affinity can play a key role in both polymers self-assembly and in drugs loading.

Programme: The course will start introducing the characteristics needed by a disordered system to form organized structures or patterns. Then, representative supramolecular structures will be introduced, starting from the host-guest complex involving the concept of molecular recognition, to polymer aggregates.

The course will continue focusing on the latter systems, with particular attention to smart polymer-based nano-vehicles for drug release that are known to enhance therapeutic specificity. It will be shown how such nano-systems may offer the chance of tailoring drug-release profiles due to the capability of responding to small changes in the properties of the biological environment (i.e. pH, ionic strength, temperature and oxidation potential), a goal achievable via a precise design of polymer chemical compositions.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to rationally indicate which building blocks are needed, and how these should be interrelated, to obtain self-assembling polymers for precision drug delivery.

Provide the main skills to project and optimize experiments through the “Design of Experiment” approach.


Course # 27

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE CRYOSPHERE

Teacher: Mauro GUGLIELMIN

Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals: The course will expose students to fundamental aspects linking together global climate processes and cryosphere. The course has been organized in such a way that the first module will provide key aspects regarding the analyses of the main cryospheric elements such as snow, glaciers, sea ice and permafrost while the second module will deal with impacts of permafrost degradation and the glaciers shrinkage and melting.

Pre-requirements: There are not major requirements for this course. The course itself is meant to provide basic tools for students to deal with permafrost-related topics

Contents

1.1 Cryosphere definitions and methods of analyses; snow, ice sheets, ice shelves, glaciers, sea ice and permafrost (3 hours);
1.2 Relationships between climate change (CC) and the cryosphere (3 hours)
1.3 Impacts of CC on snow and glaciers s.l.(3 hours)

1.4 Impacts of CC on permafrost (3 hours)

 

Referral texts: In the class we will be discussing textbook chapters and seminal papers

Teaching methods: The lecturer will be given by the lecturer and will be implemented also with the discussion on some seminal papers with the students

Teaching language: English

Type of exam: Grades will be based on:

– oral exam to test the knowledge


Course # 28

BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Teacher: John KOPROWSKI

AIMS: Provide basic elements for understanding wildlife behavior response to human impacts in the context of biological conservation.

PROGRAM: Wildlife behavior is often the first indication of impact by humans on species. Understanding the relationship between principles of animal behavior and environmental challenges is of great importance to the management and conservation of biodiversity. Conservation behavior is the application of knowledge of animal behavior to solve wildlife conservation
problems. This course reviews basic principles of animal behavior in the context of applied problems in conservation and management of wildlife populations. Topics addressed include the approaches to studying behavior in human-impacted landscapes, antipredatory responses, use of space and habitat, demographic consequences of social and mating systems, mitigation of human disturbance, captive breeding and reintroduction programs, consequences of habitat fragmentation and reserve design, impacts of roads on wildlife, and challenges introduced by climate change. Examples will be drawn from all vertebrate taxa. Methods for the collection and analysis of behavioral data will be reviewed. The student will emerge with an understanding of the need to integrate basic principles in animal behavior with conservation and management challenges to achieve informed applied strategies.

Suggested textbook: Richard H. Yahner, 2011.Wildlife Behavior and Conservation. Springer, New York, NY, Online ISBN 978-1-4614-1518-3