Giulio Superti-Furga becomes director of the Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center in Sicily
CeMM Director Giulio Superti-Furga, a renowned molecular biologist in Austria, takes on a new task: The Italian Ri.MED Foundation and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) selected the native Italian for the position of director of the new Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) currently under construction in Sicily. Superti-Furga will initially support the Ri.MED Foundation with consultancy services of one week per month, to advise on the organization of the new research center, until the buildings are completed. The goal is to create an international hub where the relationship of humans with the environment will serve as a new perspective approach for cutting-edge biomedical and biotechnological research. The results will be rapidly translated into innovative clinical procedures and products.
Superti-Furga currently heads the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), is a professor at the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna) and a member of the ÖAW. He will remain part of CeMM in Vienna.
Heinz Faßmann, President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences congratulates CeMM Director Giulio Superti-Furga on his new, additional role: "The BRBC should enable Sicily to take a leading position in the research and development of drugs, vaccines, and medical devices. The Austrian Academy of Sciences is proud that the success of CeMM and the outstanding expertise and research personality of Giulio Superti-Furga are being recognized internationally. Superti-Furga will remain a top researcher in Austria, and new collaborations will arise in the interest of medical research."
The designated BRBC Director Superti-Furga: “I am extremely pleased to be able to apply my experience in the management and organization of cutting-edge research institutions to a promising international project. As the geographical and historical center of the Mediterranean, Sicily can become a cultural interface and a hub of scientific innovation. A dense international cooperation network will be part of the research strategy".
“The Italian Government established the Ri.MED Foundation to give a strong boost to scientific research in Southern Italy, particularly in Sicily, promoting development and innovation,” said Paolo Aquilanti, President of the Ri.MED Foundation. “Thanks to the commitment of our researchers, who are able to access qualifying professional opportunities in Sicily, in recent years Ri.MED has achieved many important goals. Now our experience will be enriched by the guidance of Prof. Giulio Superti-Furga, an outstanding Italian scientist with extensive background in biomedical research leadership. Prof. Superti-Furga has decided to dedicate such an important part of his professional career to the Ri.MED Foundation and to its Research Center in Palermo. This once again confirms the value of our researchers who will be able to further develop and grow in the new Research Center.”
Timothy R. Billiar, Chief Scientific Officer of UPMC and Associate Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Academics at the University of Pittsburgh, added, "Prof. Superti-Furga is an exceptional leader, scientist, and biotech innovator who will help us turn our vision for the BRBC into a reality. This unique facility, the result of our successful public-private partnership in Sicily, promises to become a beacon of hope for the patients whose lives will be touched by its groundbreaking research and an engine of economic growth for the entire region."
“Welcoming Prof. Superti-Furga marks an essential milestone to realize our vision for the BRBC,” said Chuck Bogosta, President, UPMC International, and Executive Vice President of UPMC. “Cutting-edge scientific research will be rapidly translated into new medical discoveries and innovative clinical practice that can be implemented around the world.”
Giulio Superti-Furga has been the Scientific Director of CeMM since 2005. CeMM discovers and develops technologies to explore human biology with the purpose of defeating disease at its roots. That CeMM is one of the top life science institutes in Europe is also evidenced by its successful spin-off companies. Various products and services in the field of therapy and diagnostics that have been produced since CeMM was founded, are now improving medical practice.
For the BRBC a 25,000 square meter building for 600 employees is being created in Carini, just a few kilometers away from the Palermo International Airport and close to the coast. On an adjacent site, a new hospital managed by UPMC will be built. The construction is overseen by the Ri.MED Foundation, a partnership established in 2006 between the University of Pittsburgh and its medical centers, the Italian and Sicilian governments, and the Italian National Research Council. The building is scheduled to be ready for research at the end of 2025.