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The end of an era – Prof Veronesi appoints new head of the European Institute of Oncology

23 Sep 2014

Professor Umberto Veronesi, the Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) and pioneer of breast cancer prevention and treatment, today announced his successor.

Professor Roberto Orecchia will become the new Scientific Director at the IEO.

The IEO was founded by Prof Umberto Veronesi in 1994, as an innovative model for health and advanced research in the field of international oncology.

The Institute fully integrates different activities involved in the fight against cancer: prevention and diagnosis, health education and training, research and treatment.

It is now the fastest-growing Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Europe, seeing 40,000 new cancer patients every year and is one of the largest breast cancer centres in Europe. The research effort at the IFOM-IEO Campus is carried out by over 450 scientists, most of whom also teach at SEMM, the European School of Molecular Medicine.

Professor Pier Giuseppe Pelicci has also been confirmed as the new Director of Research at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO).The new appointments ensure the future of the IEO as a state of the art cancer centre committed to improving patient outcomes.

Professors Orecchia and Pelicci are renowned leaders in their field, both in their native Italy and on the international stage. Both are founding Editorial board members of the ecancermedicalscience journal and will continue in their roles of supporting ecancer and open-access publishing.

The appointments will commence on January 1st 2015, when Prof Veronesi will become European Institute of Oncology Emeritus Director.

About Professor Umberto Veronesi

Prof Umberto Veronesi, Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology, is one of the major world experts in cancer.

In 1994 he directed the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan for 18 years and in 2000 he became Minister of Health in the Italian government. 

He is especially renowned for his innovative techniques that revolutionised breast surgery procedures.

Prof Veronesi has served as president for some of the most important international cancer organisations including ECCO and EORTC.

For his extraordinary contribution to the field of oncology he has been awarded several important prizes including the King Faisal International Prize Award (2003), the gold medal from the Health Minister of Italy (1975) and the National Award from the American Cancer Society (1977).

Prof Umberto Veronesi graduated from medical school in 1950 and is the author of more than 650 peer-reviewed publications.

About Professor Roberto Orecchia

Prof Orecchia graduated from the University of Turin in 1980 and in the post doc period obtained degrees in radiotherapy, medical oncology and diagnostic imaging. From 1981 to 1994 he conducted his medical and scientific activity as staff physician and researcher at the radiology Institute of the University of Turin.

He has been a full professor in Radiotherapy at the University of Milan since 1994, Director of the radiotherapy departments since 1995 and Scientific Vice-Director since 2010 (under the direction of Prof Veronesi) at the IEO where every year more than 3000 patients are treated with radiotherapy. He was president of AIRO (Italian Association of Radiation Oncology), Board member of ESTRO (European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology) and to date he is the President of the International Society of Intraoperative Radiation therapy (ISIORT).

Since 2006 he has also been in charge of the clinical department of CNAO (Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologia) in Pavia, the first centre for hadron therapy built in Italy providing proton and carbon ion beams. He has authored more than 250 papers in leading scientific journals.

About Professor Pier Giuseppe Pelicci

Prof Pier Giuseppe Pelicci (MD, PhD) is Co-Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) and Chairman of the Department of Experimental Oncology at IEO. He is Full Professor of Pathology at the University of Milan.

At the IEO, Pelicci is responsible for the strategic planning of the IEO institute research programs, including basic, translational (Molecular Medicine Program) and clinical research. At SEMM, Pelicci is responsible for the development of three PhD programs (Molecular Medicine, Medical Nanotechnology, Life sciences: foundations & ethics).

Prof Pelicci's primary scientific interest is the investigation of molecular mechanisms responsible for ageing and cancerous cell transformation.

In the past, Prof Pelicci's research resulted in an innovative protocol for the treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (previously essentially incurable) which still remains the treatment of choice for patients affected by the disease today.

Pelicci's research projects are currently focused on investigating the role of the p66Shc protein, through which he has demonstrated that it is possible to genetically modify the lifespan of mammals. This study opens the way to the possibility of pharmacologically slowing down the human ageing process and identifies in p66Shc an important therapeutic target.

Source: ecancer