Italy and U.S.A. together for science. Rino Rappuoli, scientific director of the Biotecnopolo di Siena Foundation, took part in the 14th meeting of the US – Italy Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation held in Rome on the 26th and 27th of January. Here, he recalled the actions taken by his country, Italy, for countering pandemics – starting from the birth of the Biotecnopolo di Siena Foundation. Professor Rappuoli, microbiologist of international renown and one among the world’s leading authorities in the field of vaccines, retraced the steps that led to the creation of the Biotecnopolo, whose Statute was published on the 26th of August 2022 on the Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana.
It’s a strategic project aimed at developing applied research and innovation in the field of biotechnologies and life sciences, encouraging the creation of an international network for countering pandemics and promoting and coordinating study, research, technical and scientific development, and technology transfer activities. The Foundation has its headquarters in Siena, a city with a long and solid tradition in the science field, particularly in the life sciences and in the research and development of vaccines.
The longstanding scientific tradition of the city of Siena began in the early twentieth century when Achille Sclavo founded the Istituto Toscano Sieroterapico e Vaccinogeno. The expertise and professionalism that originated from Sclavo’s company allowed for the establishment and growth of leading companies in the field of biotech-pharma, bio-robotics and medtech at both national and international level. An environment of excellence in which the life sciences still play an important role, with the Biotecnopolo Foundation and the Pandemic Hub for countering health emergencies. A center that has the ambition of becoming a resource for Europe and the World, and this is why it is part of a global network of institutes and agencies such as CEPI, HERA, NIH, CARBX, BMGF, Wellcome Trust and Pasteur Network. The final aim is to develop and produce vaccines and monoclonal antibodies to cure emerging epidemic-pandemic diseases starting from antibiotic-resistant viruses and bacteria (AMR).
Among the guests of the meeting was also Cristina Cassetti, virologist and deputy director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). She gave an overview of the 5 pillars of the American pandemic plan, starting from the testimonies of colleagues from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to the lessons learned from Covid-19 and the collaboration opportunities with Italian scientists and research centers.
Click here to download the presentation of Professor Rino Rappuoli, scientific director of the Biotecnopolo di Siena Foundation.