I am currently a Senior Fellow of Global Health at Johns Hopkins University – SAIS Europe, Courtesy Professor and Director Emeritus of the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida. I graduated cum laude in veterinary medicine in 1989 at the University of Perugia and continued to train earning a specialization and a PhD in Virology and Public Health from the Universities of Pisa and Padua respectively.
I have dedicated much of my career to animal viral infections that can be transmitted to humans, which cause poverty and food security issues such as Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease and Rabies. I have also worked with international organizations to develop strategies for the prevention and management of health emergencies caused by potentially pandemic viruses. In 2006, I championed a paradigm shift sharing of genetic information of viruses that affect humans and that originate from an animal reservoir. Today, as a result of this initiative, numerous data sharing platforms have been created that host millions of genetic sequences of zoonotic viruses such as Sars CoV-2 (Covid-19), MPox, and Influenza viruses.
I have been recognized for my achievements in the field of virology with several awards including: the Scientific American 50 Award (2008) the Penn Vet World Leadership Award (2011), the ESCMID Excellence Award (2015), and the Hypatia Award of the European Academy of Sciences (2021).
I have published over over 230 articles in peer reviewed international journals and have been the editor of scientific books and have authored or co-authored chapters of scientific textbooks.
I was also a Member of the Italian Parliament (2013-2016) elected as the result of a call-to-serve from the Prime Minister in office at the time, Mario Monti. During my tenure, I served as vice-president of the Science, culture and education commission of the lower chamber of the Italian Parliament.
I am a columnist for Corriere della Sera and author of numerous books for adults, teenagers and children, some of which have been translated into other languages.