Volta Garden Club (VGAC)

The construction of the new College wing on the North front (due to open in October 2014) has appreciably reduced the surface of the College grounds. The College, nevertheless, is left with ~ 7,500 sqm of College green and needs to develop this resource in the best possible way. The purpose of the Volta Garden Club is to promote ideas and discussion among College members about the best ways to develop the College grounds and encourage students to take a first hand interest in gardening (the College aims to make available an of the College grounds for student's gardening projects). The Club also promotes seminar and visits by experts in gardening and landscaping projects, an example of which has been a recent College lecture by Prof Francesco Sartori, the Director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Pavia and organises trips and visits of College students to a selection of beautiful Italian gardens open to the public. 

Secretaries of the Volta Garden Club: 2013/14 and 2014/15 (Antonio Lanza, Construction Engineering yr 3 / MSc in Construction Engineering yr1)


11th Oct  2013.

The College is pleased to report that the following students: Giorgio Badessi, Carmen Barricella, Benedetta Broggi, Roberta Collotta, Eleonora Crisa', Chiara Francioso, Antonio Lanza, Giuseppe Siciliano and Paolo Stefanizzi cleared the College grounds of all waste and rubbish. The grounds have never been as clean as they are now. The College hopes that they will stay so for a long time and wishes to thank and commend the above students for their commitment and hard work.

garden club oct2013b garden club oct13a

Football remains the most popular sport at Volta. The College has fielded a boys' team for a number of years in the inter-collegiate tournament and, more recently, a girls' team as well. After initial disappointments, the performance of the two Volta football teams has grown in stature and Volta is now a strong challenger in football events in Pavia. The aims of the Volta Football Club is twofold: the first is to preserve and strengthen the interest of current and future students in College football and the second one is to address and discuss critically modern football. The organisation and huge financial interests underpinning the contemporary world of the 'most beautiful game' have transformed a gentleman's sport in a global business open, in many countries including Italy, to regular abuses and widespread corruption. The Volta Football Club aims to debate these issues by inviting key figures from the world of professional football and encouraging an open debate about the role that football plays in youth culture and in society in general.


Girls Football 2018

Giuseppe Dipinto, SAM FC

Club Secretary & Team Captain
Valentina Carini, MEC 5

Giulia Burini, MEC 2
Miriam Capolongo, ECO 2
Valentina Carini, MEC 5
Rosaria De Nardo, FAR 5
Chiara Di Massimo, FIS 1
Martina Giudice, TNF 3
Giulia Imberti, MAS    3
Roberta Iudici, CTF    1
Natalia Khenkina, MAS 6
Catherine Kirk, FIS    1
Chiara Mogliazza, MAT 1
Federica Santarelli, NBL 2
Emma Vedovati, MAT 1

Non players


Boys Football 2018

Giuseppe Dipinto, SAM FC

Club Secretary & Team Captain
Giuseppe Dipinto, SAM FC

Luca Albertazzi, FAR 3
Giuseppe Baldini, EGI 2
Cristian Baratta, SGE 2
Francesco Di Sabatino, CHI 2
Giuseppe Dipinto, SAM FC
Antonino Incardona, MEC 5
Carmine Isi, IEA 2
Alen Kushova, MAT 1
Nicola Mondini, MAT 1
Omar Najlani, IEL 1
Luca Perlini, IIN 3
Luigi Sallustio, MEC 1
Adriano P Stella, MEC 5
Matteo Turchetti, BIA FC
Cosimo Vernile, STA 1

Non players

Volta Cine Club (VCIC)

The College has an active Cine Club that has offered a variety of titles over the last two academic years. Topics such as people’s rights, education, justice and freedom have featured strongly in the work presented by the Cine Club both in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 academic years and the last series of films was offered jointly with members of the local (Pavia) branch of Amnesty International. The Volta Cine Club was constituted formally as a Club in 2013/14 and featured a series of award-winning documentaries on Planet Earth and the Natural World in October/November 2013. In 2014/15 a first series on Reality and Illusion in October/November 2014 was followed by a second series on Addiction in November/December 2014. 

Secretaries of the Volta Cine Club:   2013/14 (Hugo de Jonge, Post-doctoral Fellow in Molecular Biology), 2014/15 (Giorgio Badessi, Medicine, yr 4)

Students Committees 2012/13

General elections have been held in the week starting on 15th October 2012 resulting in the following students being elected to the VSU executive, the Library Committee and the Sports Committee. The Committees have taken up their role in College on 19 October 2012. The major students' body is the executive of the Volta Students' Union (four member strong, in line with general EDiSU rules on students' representation). Several informal working committees (House, Library and Sport) have also been instituted in order to widen students' participation to College life.


Volta Students' Union Executive

Name: Marco Russo
Course: Physics, Year 2

Name: Giorgio Badessi
Course: Medicine, Year 2

Name: Andrea Grieco
Course:Law, Year 3

Nem: Dario Bonaretti
Course: Economics, Year 1 (MSc)


Addtional Committees

Library Committee:
Luana Biondo, Chiara Francioso, Simone Manieri, Jacopo Milesi

Sports Committee:
Marco Bonanno, Michele Vece







Africa and the origins of humankind

9th April 2013.
D Johanson, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University.

The 2012/13 Volta lecture will be given by Donald Johanson of the Institute of Human Origins at the Arizona State University. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.

Darwin made only one reference to human evolution in his Origin of Species and the search for the when, where and why of the appearance of genus Homo remains one of the least resolved segments of our family tree. The discovery of Lucy (Austrolaphitecus afarensis) has brought us extraordinary insights into the origin of man.  The African origin and dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa are now universally accepted and the implications of these findings for the study and the understanding of the biology of modern humans are very considerable.  Lucy has left us an important and lasting legacy  ... we are all Africans.

In his Origin of Species, Charles Darwin made a single reference to the evolution of man and hypothesised that Africa was the cradle of the human race, a prediction confirmed in 1925 with the announcement of the Taung child from South Africa. Thomas Henry Huxley had emphasized the similarities between the skeletons of apes and humans and now we know that humans and apes are genetically very similar and share many behaviors, thus implying a common ancestor. Genetics suggests that the common ancestor of African apes and hominins existed between 5 and 8 million years ago and anthropologists are still looking for this ancestor. Undoubtedly this ancestor was very apelike and more similar to today's apes than today's humans.

Pre-Australopithecus fossils are now known from Africa and and may stretch back as much as 6 million yearso and the best example is Ardipithecus ramidus (4.4 million years ago). Ardi was discovered in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopia in 1992 and described as a new genus and species but one of the  problems with it being a hominin is the large, divergent great toe. Ardi is often presented as a biped but this description is probably misleading. I will show a reconstruction of Ardi walking quadrupedally (chimpanzees sometimes walk bipedally on top of branches). Ardipithecus is probably a collateral and extinct branch in the tree of the human family. In contrast, comparison of the fingerprints of ape, Australopithecus afarensis and man show that A afarensis is missing the divergent big toe.

Lucy was found in 1974 at Hadar in Ethiopia and the skeleton dates back to 3.2 million years ago. The proportions of Lucy’s the femur and humerus show that it occupies an intermediate position between a short-legged chimpanzee and a long-legged human being. The comparison between the skulls and pelvis of men, Lucy and chimpanzees shows strong similarities between the human pelvis and the pelvis of Lucy. After the discovery of Lucy, a great debate surrounded A afarensis bipedalism, but the evidence is conclusive that this species was fully bipedal in a terrestrial habitat.  The size of Lucy was diminutive but she had relatively long arms. Now we have almost 400 specimens of A afarensis from Hadar and I will show my most recent reconstruction of the hominin family tree, which highlights the critical position of A afarensisA afarensis is now postulated as an ancestor to later Australopithecus species, a cluster of species that was megadont. Next I will discuss the earliest appearance of our own genus, Homo, associated with stone tools.  A comparison with apes and Australopithecus shows how similar the maxilla A.L. 666-1 is to Homo.  A afarensis is also thought to be an ancestor to a radiation of several Homo species. When I first began my research in Africa in 1970 this is what was known-8 species. Today we have more than 20 species of hominins that can be divided into three groups.  I will show how they can also be divided in two broad categories Pre-Homo and Homo indicating the appearance of derived features such as canine reduction, etc...

As Pliny the Elder wrote Ex Africa Semper Aliquid Novi.  The search for the when, where and why of the appearance of our genus is one of the least resolved segments of our family tree.  We know much more about the genus Australopithecus than our own genus. Associated with stone tools and butchered bones, Australopithecus appears to stretch back to 2.6 my ago. Brain enlargement then appears as seen in KNM-ER 1470 at 1.8 my ago, perhaps as early as 2.0 my ago.  Bodies of modern form were in place by 1.8 my ago here in KNM-WT 15000 from the west side of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya.  First Out of Africa picked up in Dmanisi, George with crania similar to those found at Lake Turkana and associated with Oldown type stone tools. The most ancient Homo sapiens is from southern Ethiopia at Kibish and a little later at 150,000 years ago at the site of Idaltu in the Middle Awash River Valley.  Research at the southern tip of Africa on the coast of South Africa at Blombos and Pinnacle Peak has found interesting archaeological evidence for the use of ocher and the production of bone tools that do not appear in Europe until the Upper Paleolithic some 40-50,000 years ago

A major Institute of Human Origins research project at Pinnacle Peak under the direction of Curtis Marean is leading to new insights into possible causes for the appearance of Homo sapiens. Progenitor populations may have lived in Africa in refugia to survive the very cold Marine Isotope Stage 6.  S. Africa would have been a good place. Here there was abundant shell food and carbohydrates.  A pyrotechnological break through, heat-treating of stone to produce artifacts at 160,000 predates that seen in Europe at 40-50,000 BP.  Use of ochre for body decoration was a very human behaviour as well as the production of shell necklaces. Genetic studies have documented the highest frequency of progenitor genes in modern populations in South Africa like the Bushman.  Dispersal of H sapiens out of Africa is now universally accepted.

The search for the when, where and why of the appearance of genus Homo is one of the least resolved segments of our family tree.  The discovery of Lucy (Austrolaphitecus afarensis) has brought us extraordinary insights into the origin of man.  The African origin and dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa are now universally accepted. Lucy has left us an important legacy…we are all Africans.

Antarctica and climate change

3rd June 2009.
JD Shanklin, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge.

The 2008/09 Volta lecture will be given by Jonathan D Shanklin of the British Antarctic Survey. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.

The Antarctic ozone hole was discovered by British Antarctic Survey scientists and is a graphic demonstration of how easy it is to change our planet’s atmosphere. I will explain why the ozone hole forms over Antarctica and the precautions that we need to take. There is often confusion between the ozone hole and global warming, although there are complex links between them. In the lecture I will address such links and will discuss several models concerning their future trends based on the best evidence currently available.  The lecture introduces life in the Antarctic, and follows this by focussing on two global environmental issues, which are of particular significance in Antarctica. Other symptoms of global and local change are then introduced and the underlying cause(s) are discussed in order to present a rigorous view of our current state of knowledge in the field of environmental studies and the areas where further data are required. 

The British Antarctic Survey is responsible for implementing British policy in the Antarctic. Run from its Cambridge headquarters, it has two year-round Antarctic stations, two summer-only stations, numerous field camps and runs two ships and five aircrafts. The scientific studies carried out by scientists of the British Antarctic Survey cover all aspects of research in the Antarctic, ranging from earth sciences (mapping, geology, geophysics), physical sciences (meteorology, glaciology, chemistry and upper atmospheric physics) and life sciences (marine, terrestrial and human).  Scientists may visit the Antarctic for a short summer stay, or spend up to two years collecting data. In addition to the scientists, support staff are required to maintain the smooth day to day running of the stations. Two global environmental issues are particularly associated with the Antarctic: global climate change and the ozone hole. The popular perception is that the polar ice caps are melting and that low-lying areas around the globe will be flooded. The truth is less clear cut but this may eventually happen. Antarctic ice-cores tell us what our past climate has been like, and give us clues to what may happen in the future. There are natural cycles of climatic change in the Antarctic, but we are affecting the continent and will increasingly do so in the future. 

The Antarctic ozone hole was discovered by British Antarctic Survey scientists and is a graphic demonstration of how easy it is to change our planet’s atmosphere. I will explain why the ozone hole forms over Antarctica and the precautions that we need to take. There is often confusion between the ozone hole and global warming, although there are also complex links between them. Through the Montreal Protocol we have taken steps to address ozone depletion and these are working. There are many other environmental issues affecting our planet, but all too often each is taken in isolation. This inevitably means that other symptoms will surface, perhaps more damaging than those currently being treated. Unless we debate and then take steps to resolve the underlying cause of all the symptoms, we may find that our planet is unable to support us.

Philosophy of science as a bridge between the two cultures.


universityThe University of Pavia has a rich history. A number of distinguished scholars lectured and researched in Pavia including the polymath Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576), the naturalist Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729- 1799), the anatomist Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832), the physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) and the medical scientist Camillo Golgi (1843-1926) who won a share of the 1906 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with Santiago Ramon y Cajal.


The University of Pavia was founded officially through an Act of the Emperor Charles IV in 1361. As such, therefore, the University of Pavia is more recent than several other Universities in Italy (the Universities of Bologna, Padova, Florence and Pisa were founded in 1088, 1222, 1321 and 1343 respectively).  However, a Law School existed in Pavia much earlier, was regulated by an Act issued by King Lotharius in 825 and, if this foundation date was adopted, it would make the University of Pavia the oldest studium in Europe. The challenge for the University of Pavia is clearly to live up to its tradition and demonstrate that it is capable of ground breaking contributions as it has been in earlier times. Italian and foreign students can read a wide range of subjects at Pavia across the Humanities, Social Sciences, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Medicine. Currently over 20,000 are enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate Courses at Pavia.

The University owns a wealth of beautiful historical buildings and the main University site, in the centre of Pavia, constitutes a unique and beautiful set of courts and buildings completed in the late part of the 18th century. The historic University library is located there. There are 15 Colleges at the University of Pavia and, although the vast majority of students at Pavia do not live in College, Pavia can claim to be the only Italian University with a true and extensive Collegiate system. Colleges provide a strong basis for University studies and for enriching student's cultural and social life of students. They also promote student's sport activities alongside the University Sport Centre (Centro Universitario Sportivo, CUS), which has strong traditions and records of achievement in University rowing and rugby.

The City 

The city of Pavia is a Roman city with a population of approximately 70,000 and with a long history that reached particular distinction in early medieval times when Pavia acted as the capital of the kingdom of the Lombards, a kingdom that occupied much of Northern Italy.  The city is located 44 km South of Milan and is easily reachable by train from Milan and from Genoa. It is also well connected to airports, especially Linate, Milan city airport (a one hour journey by coach). Many intercontinental flights reach Malpensa airport, from which Pavia can be reached by bus/train in approximately one hour and a half with a change in Milan.

Malpensa also operates a number of low cost flights by Easyjet and several other carriers. Numerous other low cost flights, including Ryanair, operate from Orio al Serio, Bergamo airport, from which Pavia can be reached by train in approximately one hour and a half with a train change in Milan. Frequent coach services also connect both Malpensa and Orio al Serio with the main train station in Milan (Milano Centrale) from which trains reach Pavia in half an hour.


The main College Library is named after the scientist and historian of Science Joseph Needham. It ontains 7 volumes of correspondence of Alessandro Volta published by the Istituto Lombardo and obtained through the late Alberto Gigli Berzolari, a Physicist at the University of Pavia and a former Chancellor of the University of Pavia.  The library also contains the full national edition of the works of the great Italian naturalist Lazzaro Spallanzani also a professor at Pavia.

The national edition of the work of Lazzaro Spallanzani represented a three decade - long project cordinatated by the Accademia di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti di Modena. In 2013, the Academy donated a copy of Lazzaro Spallanzani's opera omnia to the Library of Collegio Volta through the dedication of Umberto Muscatello, formerly Professor General Pathologist and a member of the steering Commitee that presided over the national edition of Lazzaro Spallanzani's work.

A second room has also been assigned to library use. This second library is named after the British Physicist John Desmond (JD) Bernal and contains textbooks, reference books and a set of books received from the late Marco Fraccaro, a distinguished geneticist at Collegio Cairoli and the University of Pavia. The JD Bernal libray also contains the College textbooks, the magazines for which the College holds subscriptions and the extensive DVD/VHS collections (see below).

Libraries contain a range of textbooks of key subjects for Science, Engineering and Medicine degree Courses. They also contain a range of magazines (Science, Nature, The Economist, National geographic, Le Scienze, La Mente and L' Espresso) and extensive DVD/VHS collections. The College also subscribes to three daily newspapers (La Repubblica, il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport) available from early morning in the College breakfast room. The two main libraries are supervised by two students nominated at the start of each academic year who. For 2012/13 library support has been provided by: Cyrille H Nkwamo and Ylenia Messana (1st semester) and Carine Tiwa Kanouo (2nd semester). Service is Monday to Friday, 6.00-7.00 pm. Students on duty are found in the library or the Master's office. The College aims to offer a full online search facility for books, journals and dissertationis present in the Volta libraries during 2013/14.

Study Rooms

In addition to the two main libraries, the College has a number of study rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor where students may work individually or in group.  These rooms are only provided with desks and chairs but are in close proximity of the computer rooms where students have access to computers, printers and copiers.

Computer Rooms

Finally, the College has two large computer rooms on the 2nd floor equipped with several desktop PCs, a couple of Macs and two large colour printer/photocopiers.



The College has three categories of fellows. Honorary fellows are eminent scholars who have made outstanding contributions to their field and typically have given one of the Volta lectures in recent years. Associate fellows are members of the University of Pavia who have agreed to take an advisory role in the teaching activities and the cultural life of the College. They act as Directors of Studies by introducing the Courses to new College students during Freshers Week and by coordinating the supervisions offered in College by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows during the year. Research fellows are the newest category of fellowship. They are scholars working in Pavia or visitors who submit to College a research project to be carried, in part or in full, at Volta.


Ermanno Gherardi,

Immunology & General Pathology,




Ermanno Gherardi is Professor of Immunology and General Pathology and a member of the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Pavia.

He studied at Lausanne, Modena (Collegio San Carlo) and Cambridge University (Corpus Christi College). He as been working and teaching for nearly thirty years at the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

His main research interests include the structure and function of antibodies, growth factors and receptors with a focus on development, tissue regeneration and cancer.


Honorary Fellows:

John Worrall, 

Philosophy of Science,

London School of Economics.  


John Worrall studied under Karl Popper and worked for his PhD with Imre Lakatos.

He succeeded Karl Popper at the Chair of Logic and Philosphy of Science at LSE and has made outstanding contributions to Philosophy of Science, notably the methodology of research programmes, theory-change in science - and its impact on the twin theses of scientific rationality and scientific realism. 

He is President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science.



Jonathan D Shanklin,

Environmental Science,

British Anctartic Survey.

Jonathan D Shanklin studied at King's School, Chester and  Cambridge University  (Magdalene College) and has worked for over thirty years for the British Antarctic Survey.

He is a co-discoverer, with Joe Farman and Brian  G. Gardiner of the ozone hole in the mid 1980s, one of the fundamental discoveries in the field of environmental sciences of the 20th century. He is responsible for running the operational side of the meteorological observing program of the. British Antarctic Survey and remains highly active in field research in the Atarctica.

He received a number of awards, including the Society of Chemical Industry Environment Medal, the Institute of Physics Charles Chree Medal and Prize and the Polar Medal.



Human Origins,

Arizona State

Donald Johanson is currently the Founder Director of the Institute for Human Origins at Arizona state University.

He studied at the University of Illinois and Chicago and discovered ay Hadar in Ethiopia in November 1974, the same year in which he had been awarded his PhD, Lucy, the skeleton of a 3.2 million years old hominid that defined the genus Australopithecus and revolutionised the study of the biological origin of man.

For the subsequent forty years Donald Johanson has not only extended his research on human origins with a number of other remarkable findings and has become one of the world leading figures in the wider, contemporary debate on biological evolution.


Associate Fellows:

Angelo Albini,



Angelo Albini is Professor of organic chemistry and a member of the Department of Chemistry.

His main interest are in synthetic organic chemistry under mild condition, mechanism of organic reactions and the role of intermediates, photochemistry and biological activity.

He is Director of Studies in Chemistry,.


Roberto Bottinelli,



Roberto Bottinelli is Professor of Physiology, a member of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Deputy Chancellor for Research. 

His main research interests is the physiology of skeletal muscle, the understanding and control of muscular contraction at a molecular level and the abnormalities of muscular contractions in selected genetic diseases.

He has also contributed significantly in the area of cell therapy of muscular dystrophy, a severe genetic disease, and provided initial demonstration of the potential of this approach. He is Director of Studies in Medicine (pre-clinical).


Carlo Cinquini,



Carlo Cinquini is Professor of Construction Science and a member of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.

His main research interest concern topology optimisation with stress constraints, topology optimisation of incompressible media, eigenvalue-based optimisation for isolation devices and aseismic structures.

His most recent topics of research include the optimisation of extreme and advanced materials such as micro and macro-cracked bodies and functionally graded materials (FGM). He is Director of Studies in Engineering (Construction).


Maurizio Cornalba



Maurizio Cornalba is Professor of Algebra and a member of the Department of Mathematics.

He studied at Pisa (University and Scuola Normale Superiore) and at Princeton University. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley.

His main scientific interests are in algebraic geometry and complex geometry, with a special focus on the geometry and topology of moduli spaces of curves and of other algebro-geometric entities. He has a side interest in entomology, and especially in bumblebees.

He is a member of the Accademia dei Lincei and a recipient of the medal for mathematics of the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze. He is Director of Studies in Mathematics.


Antonella Ferrara,



Antonella Ferrara is a Professor of Automative and Process Control. She has a first degree and  a PhD in Engineering from the University of Genova, became Associate

Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Pavia in 1998 and a full Professor since 2005 at the Department of Industrial and Information Engineering.

She is a co-Director, together with Giuseppe de Nicolao and Lalo Magni, of the Identification and Control of Dynamic Systems Laboratory (ICDSL). Her research activities are in the area of sliding mode control, with application to robotics, automotive control, and process control. She is Director of Studies in Engineering (Electronics).


Stefano Govoni,



Stefano Govoni is Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Toxicology at the University of Pavia, a member of the Department of Drug Sciences and the Director of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Neuropharmacology of Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

His main research interests are in the areas of dopamine receptors, endogenous opioids and neuropeptide transmitters in the context of brain aging and age-associated cognitive impairment and dementias.

Special interests are in the field of Alzheimer Dementia (AD) and specifically the pharmacology of the amyloid protein precursor. He is Director of Studies in Pharmacology.


Giorgio Guizzetti,



Giorgio Guizzetti is Professor of Electromagnetism and Solid State Spectroscopy and a member of the Department of Physics.

His main research interests are photonic crystals and their application in control and manipulation of light propagation, notably localisation of light into ultra-small volume space regions (nanocavities).

Other interesting applications of photonic crystals are the all-optical transistor and the low-threshold laser. He is Director of Studies in Physics.


G Magenes



Giovanni Magenes has a first degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pavia and a PhD in Bioengineering from the Polytechnic School in Milan. He carried out post-doctoral research at INSERM in Lyon and at the Universite’ di Provence before being appointed to a Professorship in Biomedical Signal Processing at Pavia.

His main research interest lie in the applications of control theory to biological systems,  modelling eye-head-arm coordination, intelligent biosignal analysis, soft computing methods in biomedical applications and tissue engineering. He is Director of Studies in Bioengineering.


Maria T Mazzilli,

Language & Literature,


Maria T Mazzilli is a Professor of History of Medieval Art and Art Techniques and a member of the Department of Humanities. 

She has a first degree in Literature and postgraduate studies in Art and Archeology. Her broad interests is in new procedures for classification and assessment as well as in the science of conservation and restoration.

Her specific research interests lie in the application of modern tools to the study of late medieval architecture and sculpture in Northern Italy (with a special focus on major buildings and artifacts in the Pavia area) and in the contributions that these studies offer for wider historical analysis. She is Director of Studies in Humanities (Language Studies and Literature).


Mario Pampanin,



Mario Pampanin is Professor of Law and Cultural Heritage and a member of the Department of Humanities.

His recent research interests are in the conservation area, notably the conservation of trees, woods and forests, not only a traditional economic resource but an important subject in the field of cultural heritage and natural beauty.

This matter is regulated by different branches of law: Forest law but also Environmental law, Town and Country planning law and - more recently - by the rules for Landscape preservation. Thus, a number of important issues in this area require coordination between the land-use planning procedures and the different systems of control. He is Director of Studies in Law.


Giorgio Rampa,



Giorgio Rampa is Professor of Economics at the University of Pavia.

He studied at the University of Pavia (Collegio Ghislieri) and did post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge (Darwin College) where he won the Stevenson Prize of the Faculty of Economics and a Grant from the Adam Smith Fund in 1981. He also won a Prize from the Economists' Italian Society in 1988 for his PhD dissertation.

His teaching and research interests are in the area of Microeconomics. He coordinates two PhD Programmes, the DREAMT Programme at the University of Pavia and the ELI Programme at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IUSS). He is Deputy Director of the Department of Economics and Business Studies. He is Director of Studies in Economics.


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Ethics & Medicine,


M. Giovanna Ruberto is Professor of Bioethics and a member of the Department of Public Health and Experimental and Forensic Medicine.

She directs a the Centre for Bioethics, a local think tank active in bringing major topics of research in the field of Ethics and Medicine to a wide audience in Pavia.

Her main research interests concern the impact of new technologies, including information technology on Medicine.  She is Director of Studies in Ethics & Medicine.


A Torroni



Antonio Torroni is Professor of Genetics, a member of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology and the Coordinator of the PhD Program in Genetics, Molecular and Cell Biology.

He graduated in Biological Sciences at the University La Sapienza of Rome and received his PhD in Genetic Sciences (and Molecular Biology) from the University of Pavia. He was a Postdoctoral fellow and Assistant Professor at Emory University (USA) and subsequently held appointments at the Universities  of Rome and Urbino.

His main research interests include the study of genetic variation in human and animal populations. He is a leading expert in human mitochondrial DNA variation and his studies have provided important contributions to the definition of the origin, evolution and dispersal of human populations as well as the role played by "normal" sequence variation of human mitochondrial DNA in some pathologies. He is Director of Studies in Biology and Biotechnology.


Luca Vanzago




Luca Vanzago is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, and a member of the Department of Humanities.

His main fields of research are Phenomenology, Process Thought, Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness, and the Epistemology of Pain and Suffering.

He has widely published in Italy and abroad. Among his publications, the books Modi del tempo (2001), L’evento del tempo (2004), Coscienza e alterità (2007), Breve storia dell’anima (2009), Merleau-Ponty (20012), Coscienza (2013) (with Faustino Savoldi and Mauro Ceroni, 2013), The Voice of No One (in press).


Research Fellows:


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