Virgilio Program is an innovative pre-graduate training track in biomedical research for students of medicine and surgery.

The program foresees students to follow an experimental research project as the topic of their final thesis, for which they can be associated with any of the research labs across the partner universities.

Financed by Fondazione Cariplo, Virgilio Program is a first joint attempt of leading Universities in Italy: University of Milano – Bicocca,  University of Milan and  Humanitas University in training leaders in academic medicine.

University of Milano – Bicocca

University of Milan

Humanitas University


Virgilio Program follows an integrated curriculum across the three partner Universities that enhances the existing Medical School curriculum to help students build the skills and knowledge base to pursue a biomedical research pathway and eventually have a career as a physician scientist.
During the 3 years in the Virgilio Program, the students participate in theoretical courses and laboratory experience, as well as seminars and practicals, designed to integrate their research knowledge.
Milano Bicocca U8
Milano Bicocca U8
University of Milan - Bicocca
La facciata di via Mangagalli
Ricercatori nel laboratorio di Istologia

Academic Courses

Bicocca Students

The program contains in-depth formal didactic courses which are designed to help students acquire knowledge and skills related to research methods, critical analysis, ethics & data processing.


Laboratory Rotations

The program envisages planned laboratory rotations of 4 weeks per academic year in order to enable students assimilate the theoretical knowledge acquired during the didactic courses into practical experience.

Humanitas University Students

Individualized Mentoring

The program offers individualized mentoring by leading physician scientists in order to guide the research experience of the students and provide scientific inputs.


Experimental Thesis

The program foresees students to follow an experimental research project as the topic of their final thesis, for which they can be associated with any of the research labs across the partner universities.

Elena Ioppolo

What’s New?

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Students Testimonials

“I am pursuing Virgilio Program in order to have the opportunity to develop a parallel path towards medical research, along with clinical education. I personally believe combining clinical and research activities will help me develop a new mindset and outlook towards the field of medicine”



“Virgilio program is enabling me understand the scientific literature on which clinical practice is based and to learn how to manage research in the medical field in order to act as a bridge between research and patient’s bedside.”



“I believe that a solid knowledge of scientific methods and ethics of medical research are essential for an evidence based approach to pathology, with the aim of giving patients the most targeted and personalized therapy.”



“My Lab experience was a unique opportunity to start discovering the world of medical research and gaining insights into its methods. The thoughtful Physician-Scientists I had the chance to work with and learn from, acted as true role models and represented for me a precious source of advice, inspiration and motivation to keep pursuing a research career.”



Join Us – Admissions: How to Apply

Today’s advances, tomorrow’s cures

From the tiniest cells to Big Data, our investigators are making key discoveries that lead to better treatments.

Andrea Biondi is using individual molecular response to treatment, genomic analysis and most recently developed CAR-T cell therapy, to tailor the best treatment for childhood leukemia by coordinating national and international clinical trials.

Andrea Biondi, MD Pediatric Hematologist
Head of Virgilio Program

Andrea Biondi

Program Activities

Andrea Biondi – Thank You Message

Lab Rotations Testimonials

30.09.2021 Graduation Ceremony – Virgilio 1° Cohort ENTIRE CEREMONY

14.10.2022 Joint Conference – Virgilio/ Empa – Prof. Alberto Mantovani

14.10.2022 Joint Conference – Empa Assembly

14.10.2022 Joint Conference Virgilio/ Empa – PHD Students

Silvia Brunelli

Massimo Locati

30.09.2021 Graduation Ceremony Virgilio 1o Cohort – INTERVIEWS

14.10.2022 Joint Conference – Virgilio/ Empa – Prof. Giuseppe Citerio

14.10.2022 Joint Conference Virgilio/ Empa – Dr. Savino – Prof. Penn

14.10.2022 Graduation Ceremony – Virgilio Program 2° Cohort