Integrated Healthcare in Palermo, Sicily

Key Information


Application Deadline: 06/02/23 at 9:00 am

Opportunity type: Academic-led trips

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

Ref: 10007337


Departure Date: 06/06/23

Return Date: 10/06/23


£450: the estimated cost for travel and accommodation (excluding DMU Global funding). Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers, visits, food and drink, visa (if applicable)


DMU Global Bursary: £150


General Enquiries: Global Mobility Office -

Trip Lead: Federico Brucoli -


All year Pharmacy students who have completed the module Preparing for Practice (PHAR1701), and all year Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science students who have completed the module Formulation Chemistry – Physical, Analytical and Organic (PHCO1302) are eligible to participate in this opportunity. There are a maximum of 30 places available, with a minimum of 15 participants required for this opportunity to take place. Students are recommended to check the eligibility criteria before applying.


Trip description

The purpose of this trip is to visit ISMETT, which is a transplant centre and reference hospital for the entire Mediterranean area, and the RI.MED Foundation, a biotechnology and biomedical research centre affiliated to the hospital.

ISMETT and RI.MED are both located in Palermo, Sicily, and are a partnership between the local University Hospital, Italian National Research Council (CNR) and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The Foundation, based in Palermo, promotes, supports and leads biomedical and biotechnological research projects, with emphasis on the translation of innovative results into clinical practice. Ri.MED is currently focused on the creation of the Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Centre, which will be a reference point for researchers from all over the world. At the same time, the Foundation trains the researchers who will provide the human capital of the Research Centre.

As part of the visit to ISMETT (Wednesday 7 June), a hospital pharmacist will show the students how medicinal products are safely and legally supplied to patients and explain pharmacy regulatory and professional requirements in Italy. This is an exciting opportunity for the students to interact with hospital pharmacists at ISMETT and understand the challenges faced by clinical healthcare professionals within an international context.

Moreover, by visiting the laboratories of the RI.MED foundation (Thursday 8 June), which supports “bench-to-bedside” research projects, the students will gain knowledge on the most advanced and therapies for end-stage vital organ failures and learn the scientific principles involved in the development of pharmaceutical formulations used in treating inflammatory disorders and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

On the final day of activities in Palermo (Friday 9 June), students will have the chance tp visit the Botanical Gardens and Department of Botany of the University of Palermo, to learn about the medicinal plants they research.

Learning objectives

Participating in a DMU Global opportunity can help you develop knowledge, skills and competencies that enhance your studies. The objectives of this trip to Palermo are:

  • To acquire knowledge on identification of active pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of immune diseases related to transplant operations
  • To acquire detailed information on how medicinal products are safely and legally supplied to patients in Italy with explanations of pharmacy regulatory and professional requirements
  • To acquire an understanding of the management of infectious diseases, inflammation and organ transplants medications

The planned activities are mapped against specific modules and learning outcomes in both the Pharmacy and PCS curricula. Pre-/post-trip work might include the completion of year 1 students portfolio assignments focussed on Global activities, i.e., the study of healthcare systems in other countries and how medicinal products are designed and safely dispensed.

Cultural activities

Palermo is the charming capital city of Sicily and is well-known for its beautiful architecture, as well as the idyllic coastal resorts that surround the city. Palermo has a multi-layered and complex history, as it has been occupied by almost every European civilization, and has long-term connections with Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean over the last 2000 years.

As part of the trip students will have the chance to visit the Palermo Botanical Garden, one of oldest and most important in Europe. In their free time, students could also choose to visit sites such as the 12th Century Norman Cathedral, the Piazza Marina, and the Palace of the Normans.

COVID-19 information

Travel to Italy is permitted according to the travel rules for England as listed on UK Government website. Students are expected to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to travel. Further guidance can be found on the FCDO webpage for Italy.

All students that are offered a place on this DMU Global opportunity will receive further COVID-19 advice and guidance by email and in pre-departure briefing sessions. More details and COVID-19 Travel Information can be found here.