UniCamillus… and then what next? The path to professional success of Riccardo, MSc Nutrition Sciences alumnus

From some friends who recommended UniCamillus to a seminar that sparked his passion for nutraceuticals leading to a job as a nutritional biologist and consultant of a major biotech company: the successful journey of Riccardo Muscatello

The experiences of our students are always important to us at UniCamillus because they are the litmus test that shows us the results of our work, our commitment and the direction we take in our academic mission, which is meeting the needs of both our current and future students.

Sharing stories about how our students experience life at our institution can help other students make informed academic and post-university choices. A few weeks ago, we shared the experiences of three of our medical students who participated in the Erasmus+ project.

Today, we want to introduce you to one of our alumni who graduated last year in Human Nutrition Sciences. His name is Riccardo Muscatello, and his dissertation Nutraceutical Approach in the Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia (with Prof. Caterina Pipino as supervisor) was chosen as the most interesting and innovative by the UniCamillus Examination Board. Riccardo also summarized the topic of his dissertation in an article he wrote for our website.

Thanks to his passion for the subject and the quality of our institution, Dr. Muscatello is now working as a nutritional biologist and nutraceutical consultant at the Cube Labs company. Furthermore, due to his ongoing desire to advance his knowledge, he is also pursuing a second-level CPD course called “Nutraceutical Products: from Research and Development to Marketing” at the University Federico II in Naples.

Here are some questions we asked him about his academic and personal experience at UniCamillus.

Can you tell us a bit about your academic journey at UniCamillus? What led you to choose this university?

I chose this university because some of my friends, who attended the MSc Medicine and Surgery programme, spoke very well of both the facilities you offer and the lecturers you have.

What were the most significant moments, the most important experiences, the most influential teachers at UniCamillus?

One of the most important moments was definitely in the first year―that’s when I met Professors Matteo Micucci, Caterina Pipino, and Marco Marchetti. They were the ones who aroused my passion for research and nutraceuticals!

Speaking of nutraceuticals: tell us about your dissertation…

The idea for my dissertation came after I took part in a seminar at UniCamillus given by Professors Ettore Novellino and Matteo Micucci. One of the topics was the nutraceutical approach in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. That day I took all many notes and, after a discussion with Professor Pipino, I decided to explore the topic, which I then presented as my dissertation.

What were the main goals of your study and the conclusions you reached?

The goal was to identify, through literature research, the nutraceuticals most capable of boasting a cholesterol-lowering effect. The conclusion was that, to date, nutraceuticals are a very valid alternative to pharmacological treatment for dyslipidaemia. The best nutraceuticals are the Melannurca apple, bergamot, and berberine.

Your dissertation was chosen as one of the most innovative by the Examination Board. Why do you think that was?

Probably because nutraceuticals are inherently innovative and stand for scientific progress. I believe the concept of Medicine Food Homology (MFH) was crucial, along with the conclusion that nutraceuticals can be used to replace drugs.

What opportunities opened up for you after graduation and thanks to your research?

After graduation, I passed an exam to become a licensed nutritional biologist. I also found a job in a company operating in the biotech, pharma, and nutraceutical sectors. I completed an internship there and have now been hired.

What advice would you give to current Human Nutrition Sciences students at UniCamillus?

More than advice, I’d say that I hope that the “flame” of passion for research, curiosity, and study will keep burning in them. Always be curious and critical of every subject, create networks between yourselves and with the teachers. The lecturers at UniCamillus are also wonderful people, besides being academically excellent: follow their every advice.

How do you see your professional future? Do you have any specific projects or ambitions you want to achieve in the future?

My goal is to establish myself in the field of nutraceuticals, as well as to keep up my studies and become a reference figure in this sector.

Speaking of the MSc in Human Nutrition Sciences at UniCamillus… applications for the admissions test are now open! If you are interested, you have until 1pm on 10 September 2024 to submit your application. Take a look at the 2024-2025 call for applications and good luck!