The scientific mission of the Institute of Life Sciences covers two macro-areas:
- Agricultural Sciences and Plant Biotechnology
- Biomedical Sciences
Our aim is to provide a multifaceted and challenging scientific environment to a broad spectrum of students: undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD. Courses and research activities span from classical and molecular human and plant biology to preclinical and clinical sciences, plant biotechnology, food quality and nutraceutics, agroecology and agrobiodiversity, and novel sustainable agricultural systems. Strong emphasis is placed on technological innovation.
Lecturers have strong scientific expertise often acquired in a multidisciplinary international environment.
Research carried out in the macro-area Agricultural Sciences and plant Biotechnology addresses two main domains: plant sciences and agronomy, with a focus on various aspects of plant biology, food and energy crops, agrobiodiversity, and agroecosystem management.
Research carried out in the macro-area of Biomedical Sciences addresses the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, the development of new diagnostic techniques, and the application of nanotechnology to medicine.
The Master course is jointly organized by four public Universities of Tuscany, namely the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Sant’Anna School) of Pisa (coordinator), the University of Pisa, the University of Siena and the University for Foreigners of Siena. A strict collaboration is also established with the Italian Association of Sommelier (AIS) that is in charge of delivering, within the activities of the Master, the Sommelier AIS Diploma
Geneticists of the Sant’Anna School carried out their research on the genomic diversity of plant genetic resources in combination with local farmer knowledge in smallholder cropping systems as a key to understand agrobiodiversity and foster food security and resilience in agriculture. In a study published on the Journal “Heredity”, researchers have used genomic techniques to demonstrate that traditional farmers in Mexico can preserve the uniqueness of local maize landraces over decades
In a study, published in the international journal “Frontiers in Plant Science”, researchers from the PlantLab Laboratory of the Institute of Life Sciences of the Sant'Anna School (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna), in collaboration with the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the CNR of Pisa and with the Institute for the animal production system in the Mediterranean environment of the CNR of Naples, has shown that iodine is also necessary for plants