29 April 2014

Antonio Cassone

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Professor of Medical Microbiology, Microbiology Consultant for the Center of Genomics, Genetics and Biology Department of Experimental Medicine University of Perugia, Perugia; Former Research Director  and Chief  Department of  Infectious, Parasitic and Immune- mediated Diseases Istituto Superiore di Sanità (National Health Institute Rome (Italy)

Antonio Cassone was educated at the Biology and  Medical Schools of the First University of Rome “La Sapienza” where he got a BSc and a MD degrees. His  academic  career spans from Research Assistant to Full Professor of Medical Microbiology at the Universities of Rome and L’Aquila (1973-1984)

 He was Visiting Scientist and Fellow of the Chemical Microbiology Unit, in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Cambridge (UK) (1076-77) and is currently Visiting Professor at the Science Faculty, Imperial College, London, UK. His present position is at the University of Perugia (Italy) as full professor of Medical Microbiology.

His major research interests span the whole field of medical microbiology with a focus on antifungal  vaccines and immunity. He is the recipient of  a number of national and international grants and  awards from Scientific Societies and Academies, inclusive the 1996 “Agostino Bassi Award” by the Italian Medical Mycology Association for the high distinction in medical mycology research and the  2010 “Sebetia-ter” International Award for high distinction in research in infectious diseases. He is fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society, American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America, among many other scientific Societies and Academias.

He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers as primary research publications as well as over 50  invited reviews and book chapters. He owns 6 patents on fungal vaccines and immunotherapeutics, and one patented vaccine (PEV7: virosomal sap2 vaccine for protection against recurrent candidal vaginitis) has  completed  Phase 1 clinical trial.

His research and academic careers have been complemented by an intense public health service as Research Director, Head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology and Medical Mycology at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (National Health Institute, ISS) in Rome, Italy ( 1988-2003), then Director of the Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases of the same Institute from March 2003 to May 2009.

In this position, he has directed surveillance and research teams on emerging infectious diseases , including arthropod borne viral diseases and influenza, and has been public health consultant for National and International Regulatory Bodies such as the Italian Ministry of Health, the European Community,  the  Health Protection Agency  in UK and  the European Center for Diseases Control (Stockholm, Sweden)  where he has represented the Italian Medical Microbiology as National Microbiology Focal Point.  For the excellence of his research and service ,  he has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Minister of Health , the highest Italian recognition  in the field of Public Health.

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