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The University of Ferrara, founded in 1391, is one of the oldest in Italy. It consists of twelve Departments: Architecture; Humanities; Life Science and Biotechnology; Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science; Biomedical and Surgical Science; Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine; Medical Sciences; Engineering; Physics and Earth Science; Law; Management and Economics; Mathematics and Informatics.

The School of Medicine of the University of Ferrara is responsible of the teaching activities for approximately 4000 students (MD, Dentistry, Nursing, Physiotherapy degrees, and several other sanitary/technical degrees, such as Radiology, Biomedical Lab, Audiology, etc). The School of Medicine coordinates also all the clinical activities of the 3 Medical Departments, and the clinical activities are carried out mostly in the S.Anna University Hospital (Azienda Ospedaliero- Universitaria), located in Ferrara.

Some facts and figures about the University: approximately 25,000 students enrolled (6% are international students); 230 Socrates/Erasmus partners; 41 international research projects funded by FP7, of which 4 Coordinated by UniFe, and 3 funded and 1 in Grant Preparation phase in Horizon2020, several projects funded by other European research programmes; approximately 500 international cooperation agreements. There are 11 PhD programs operating in the different subject areas, and two of them (Molecular Medicine and Pharmacology; Biomedical and biotechnological Sciences) are directly relevant to the present application.

The relevance of the participation of the University of Ferrara to this project is the availability of both Clinical Units (Endocrinology, Rheumatology, Neurology, Gynecology) and Basic Science research groups of international relevance.