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Alberto Mantovani

Scientific Director of Istituto Clinico Humanitas and President and founder of the Fondazione Humanitas per la Ricerca. Professor of Pathology, School of Medicine, State University of Milan,  Alberto Mantovani was born in Milan in 1948. He graduated (summa cum laude) in 1973 in Medicine at the University of Milan and in 1976 he specialized in Oncology at the University of Pavia. From 1973 to 1975 he had a scholarship at the Laboratory of Immunology and Chemotherapy at the Mario negri Institute in Milano. From 1973 to 1976 he was visiting fellow at the Department of Tumor Immunology of the Chester Research Institute in Belmont (GB). In 1978-1979 he was visiting fellow at the Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis, NIH, Bethesda (USA), with a Yamagiwa-Yoshida  Scholarship of the UICC first and then with a NATO grant. From 1979 to 1981 he was senior investigator, Department of Tumor Immunology and  Chemotherapy, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Milan. In 1981 he became Chief of the Laboratory of Immunology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri". From 1994 to 2001 he was full Professor of General Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Brescia, Italy. From 1996 to 2005 he has lead  the Department of Immunology and Cell Biology at the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Milan. He was appointed numerous scientific awards, i.e. Biotec award (1998);  the Marie T.Bonazinga Award by the Society of Leukocyte Biology (USA) (2000); the Guido Venosta Prize by the President of the Republic of Italy (2004);  EFIS ”“ Schering Plough 1st European Immunology Prize, Paris, France (2006);  Galileo Galilei Prize for Research in Biomedical Sciences (2007); PISO Award (2007);  Onoreficenza al Merito della Repubblica Italiana; the William Harvey Outstanding Scientist (2009). Member of various professional societies,  e.g. European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO);  Henry Kunkel Society;  the Faculty of 1000 Biology;  and President of the International Cytokine Society. He has published more than 600 papers,  mostly in high-ranking journals. Highly cited immunologist, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI Thomson) ranked him as one of 100 most quoted immunologists in the world over the last 20 years.

Viruses and immunity: molecular pirates and the challenge of a global alliance

Viruses know the immune system in an evolutionary sense much better than immunologists do. In their evolutions certain viruses (e.g. herpes viruses) have evolved strategies to subvert and divert components of the immune system. These include the expression of molecules which act as molecular traps (decoys) for cytokines and chemokines. Therefore viruses have acted as molecular pirates in their evolutionary history. The challenge rests in learning lessons from viruses and exploiting their molecular armamentarium. At a different level, strategies to control viral and non viral diseases using immunization at a global level will be discussed. Emphasis will be on children morbidity and mortality, and on the global alliance for vaccines and immunization (GAVI).

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