VisMederi Scientific Committee
VisMederi has its own Scientific Committee
whose purpose is to continually and objectively evaluate VisMederi’s scientific research.
EMANUELE MONTOMOLI (for bio see Board of Directors)
Costante Ceccarini has more than 35 years of academic and industrial experience behind him in the area of Research and Development. He received his Bachelor of Science at Peters College and a Master’s Degree in Biology at Oberlin College in Ohio. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biology at Princeton University in New Jersey. Professor at the City University of New York from 1970 to 1980, he then held management positions within Sclavo Diagnostics International (1981-1989). In 1989, he became Head of the SIFI research group, leader in Italy in the Eye Care field. In 1991, he returned to Siena to direct the R&D area of Sclavo, then Chiron, a role he held until 1998. In 1998, he became a consultant of the World Health Organization (WHO), where he was called to identify companies potentially able to produce vaccines respecting the standards set by WHO, in the countries of the Third World. At this time, he has been entrusted to a technical report to reach the production of a safe and effective conjugate vaccine against type A Meningococcal bacteria. The project was supported by a grant of U.S. $ 70 million granted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. During his career, he has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Today, he is a member of SAG (Scientific Advisory Group) of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul.
Professor of Ecology at the University of Siena since 1990, he was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University of Siena from 1999 to 2005. In 2005 he received an honorary degree in Environmental Sciences at the Universidad de Concepcion (Chile). From March 30th 2006 to October 31st 2010 he was Rector of the University of Siena. The main research lines which he has worked on in recent years have been concentrated in the following areas: the study of contamination in the Mediterranean Sea; the study of contamination in remote areas; studies on the ecology of Adélie Penguin (Antarctica); the study of the effects of persistent contaminants on organisms; the development of techniques for the detection of the quality of brackish and marine environments; the study of the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the environment and the development of techniques for the detection of food quality.
Director of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Influenza and Viral Infections, he is Professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Genoa. From 1986 to 2000, he was lecturer at the University of Siena, where he conducted research on the epidemiology and prevention of dental diseases, epidemiology and prevention of influenza, innovative pertussis and influence vaccines. His research covers topics related to health promotion and prevention, with particular reference to innovative vaccines for influenza and meningitis. He is currently engaged in the development of the application of Health Technology Assessment in the field of immunization and in the development of mathematical models for assessing the best vaccination strategies and pharmacoeconomic models for the introduction of new vaccines in Italy. Author and co-author of about 500 publications on printed national and international journals of medical sciences, he is a member of the Order of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists of the province of Genoa.
After graduating in Biology at the University of Milan in 1974, he obtained a specialization in Experimental Pharmacology in 1976 at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan. From 1976 to 1979, he worked at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, as one of the first researchers in the world to deal with cytokines. In 1981, he moved to Siena as the Head of the Laboratory of Immunology of the new Sclavo Research Centre, where he developed independent research projects in the field of mucosal immunology, applying basic discoveries in the study of immune responses in vaccinated volunteers. In 1990, he became Research Director for Dompè SpA. In 1998, he founded Siena ALTA Ricerca & Sviluppo in Biotecnologie Srl, a service company in the field of research projects and technology transfer for Research & Development in Biotechnology. During his career, he has published more than 120 original scientific papers and has been editor of several books in the fields of mucosal and cytokine immunology. He is the inventor of 10 international patents and has been teaching since the beginning of his career. In 2006, he was appointed Project Leader for the creation and building of Novartis Vaccine Institute for Global Health, headquartered in Siena, whose mission is to develop vaccines for developing countries on a non-profit basis.
Simonetta Viviani is an independent consultant in vaccines, epidemiology and public health. She collaborates with the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médical (INSERM) Marseille, France; International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, South Korea; PATH Seattle, USA; the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH), Siena, Italy; Takeda Vaccines Zurich, Switzerland; BionetAsia, Bangkog, Thailand. From October 2010 to December 2012 she was Associate VP, Head of the Dengue Clinical Development Program at Sanofi Pasteur. The program which includes large efficacy trials in endemic areas, is in clinical phase IIb/III, and aims to license the first tetravalent live attenuated Dengue vaccine for the prevention of dengue disease. From March 2005 to September 2011, she was Director of Vaccine Development at the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP). Created in 2001 with core funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, its goal is to eliminate epidemic meningitis in Sub-Saharan Africa through the development and wide spread use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines. In June 2010, a meningococcal A vaccine –MenAfriVac- was prequalified by WHO. Dr Viviani has extensive experience in public health, infectious diseases epidemiology, clinical research, and vaccine development. From September 2002 to February 2005, she has served as clinical research and medical affairs manager for combined pediatric vaccines (DTPHibHBV, MMR) ,Flu and HIV vaccines, at Berna Biotech in Bern, Switzerland, and as medical director at Etna Biotech (Berna Biotech Group) in Catania, Italy. From 1997 to 2002, she was associate director of the clinical research department at Chiron Vaccines in Siena, Italy, where she was in charge of Hib, Hib combined, and meningococcal conjugate vaccines. From 1995 to 1997 she served at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a WHO agency) as an epidemiologist attached to The Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study, a large intervention trial aimed to prevent infection, chronic carriage and primary liver cancer in a high risk population by extensive vaccination with Hepatitis B vaccine. Dr Viviani has been a consultant in public health and epidemiology for the Department of Public Health in Florence, Italy, and has collaborated with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy on surveillance of communicable and vaccine preventable diseases. She has worked in Public Health and Epidemiology projects in Zimbabwe, Brazil and Guinea Bissau. She has also experience as a family doctor in the rural areas of Tuscany, Italy. Dr. Viviani received a Medicine and Surgery Degree from University of Siena, Italy, as well as postgraduate degrees in Public Health and Laboratory Research. She holds a two-year postgraduate training degree in Field Epidemiology from the CDC, Atlanta, USA, and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy. She has served as advisor for the International Agency for Research on Cancer, for the Initiative for Vaccine Research Department at WHO, Geneva, for MSF, Access to Essential Medicines Campaign, Geneva. She has published in the field of public health, epidemiology and vaccinology.
- PRESS AREA