The MSc “Reproductive-Regenerative Medicine” enables distance learning in accordance with current legislation
The purpose of the MSc “Reproductive-Regenerative Medicine” is to provide a high level of specialization and practice in conducting research in Reproductive Medicine for graduates of Medicine and other Schools of Health and Schools of Basic Sciences. Trainees should combine high-level competences at both academic and research levels with the aim of acquiring additional theoretical and practical knowledge that will assist in successful careers and rehabilitation in the private and public sectors.
Reproductive Medicine is a field that is constantly evolving and deals with the physiology, pathology and endocrinology of the reproductive system in women and men, as well as genetic diseases, and intervenes both conservatively and surgically in their treatment. It has significant value to offer to couples facing infertility problems. In the curriculum, students are trained in the techniques of Assisted Reproduction, but also in the Molecular Biology of Reproduction. Regenerative Medicine is a new field of Medical research that deals with the study of stem cells and the application of the results of this research in clinical practice, with the aim of therapeutic intervention in a significant number of patients. The curriculum emphasizes the study of stem cells at both a theoretical and practical level. Reproductive – Regenerative Medicine, due to the theoretical and practical interest that characterizes it, is internationally a field that requires thorough and in-depth training, while at the same time connecting classical Medicine with basic research. The curriculum will continue to help both Health Sciences graduates and Basic Sciences graduates to enrich their knowledge at the level of applied techniques in Molecular Biology, but also at the clinical-laboratory level in Reproduction and Endocrinology. Additionally, it will help physicians identify important basic science questions in relation to clinical findings and apply laboratory techniques to understand patient pathophysiology.
In the Molecular Biology laboratory of the IVF Unit, molecular techniques are applied which allow the study of genetic markers, i.e. the detection of variation in the expression of target genes, but also the modification of their sequence.
- The study of the different hormone receptors (ESR, FSHR, LHR) includes the detection of polymorphisms, the presence of which is related to a change in their stereo-arrangement and consequently a modification of their interaction with the corresponding hormone. In addition, it seems that a change in the expression of specific receptors is associated with changes in the ovarian response of women who undergo IVF protocols. The conclusions drawn from these studies can individualize the medication taken by women, thus contributing to the development of pharmacogenetics.
- Also, the laboratory’s research interest is focused on the study of molecular and immunological mechanisms, which are related to regular miscarriages. It seems that the formation of a genetic profile, based on polymorphisms, which are found mainly in the genes that code for interleukins, helps to better treat women with recurrent miscarriages. Another research approach that concerns regular miscarriages is related to the study of miRNAs, which according to the international literature seem to be strongly related to the regulation of the immune response and consequently to the mechanisms of miscarriages.
- The laboratory also studies genetic mechanisms, which seem to be involved in the pathology of endometriosis and concern estrogens and their receptors, but also the metabolism of free radicals by endometrial cells.
- Also, special importance is given to in vitro studies of cellular mechanisms and genetic alterations in relation to the presence of hormones or pharmaceutical substances. These studies focus mainly on the granulosa cells of the oocytes and enable us to understand the effect of the oocyte microenvironment on the maturation of the oocyte itself.
- Finally, in the laboratory, the expression of genes that code for cell cycle proteins, which are involved in embryonic development, is studied. Understanding the functioning of the specific proteins may help in the future to better document the mechanisms of embryogenesis.
- In the laboratory, postgraduate students of the MSC “Reproductive-Regenerative Medicine” and doctoral theses are prepared, many of which are presented at international conferences and published in reputable scientific journals. In parallel with the research project, in the context of the provision of services, a molecular test of thrombophilia is carried out in women who come to the clinic during miscarriages and also a molecular test of estrogen receptor (ESR) and FSH receptor polymorphisms in women with infertility problems.
- The goal of the regenerative medicine laboratory is to participate in the progress and development of regenerative medicine and to contribute to the clinical application of stem cells. A key property of stem cells is that they do not have a special structure that allows them to perform special functions, neither do they cooperate (to supply blood as, for example, heart muscle cells do) nor do they produce electrochemical signals so that they can move, as for example, nerve cells. These pluripotent undifferentiated cells can give different classes of differentiated cells with specialized functions, e.g. heart muscle cells, nerve cells and hematopoietic cells.
- A starting population of pluripotent cells that is propagated for many months in the laboratory can yield millions of cells. When undifferentiated cells give rise to differentiated cells the process is called differentiation, a process that scientists are just now beginning to explore. Thus specific protocols can guide us with the use of specific culture fluids in desired cell types.
- The basic research protocol of the laboratory aims to develop methods of locating and cultivating the pluripotent cells found in the amniotic fluid. Its advantages combined with its low antigenicity (amniocentesis to obtain it in less than 18 weeks) make it promise more and more applications in terms of Regenerative Medicine. In other words, the cultured cells will be able to replace damaged pancreatic cells, damaged nerve cells, damaged vascular fibroblasts and many more already existing cells, up to and why not one day entire organs. Research efforts in recent years have been increasingly focused on this special category of cells, with the aim of opening new paths in prenatal diagnosis as well as in gene therapy.
- However, protocols related to the research of cancer cells are also being worked on in our laboratory with great success and upcoming publications, not only for their originality, but also for their possible direct clinical application.
The MSc leads to the awarding of a Postgraduate Diploma in “Reproductive-Regenerative Medicine”, after the full and successful completion of the studies based on the curriculum.
Learning outcomes, qualifications obtained by successfully attending the MSc.
Through the high-level theoretical and practical Postgraduate education in the recent developments in the field, the graduates of the Postgraduate Program “Reproductive-Regenerative Medicine” acquire a strong scientific background, know-how and experience in a particularly dynamic area of modern obstetrics. The purpose of the MSc is to:
Creation of specialized human resources in “Reproductive-Regenerative Medicine”
- Acquisition of applied knowledge in new technologies in the field
- Promotion of research at a research, diagnostic and therapeutic level
Graduates completing the Program will be able to:
- To be employed in positions that require a high level of knowledge and skills of the cognitive subject
- To staff Obstetricians, Gynaecological clinics, laboratories and other health structures in the Public and Private sector
- To be employed in the field of education and to teach in the subject