Funded completely by the Italian government, the new center will be jointly managed by UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. It will put Italy in the forefront of developing new drugs, vaccines, devices and other biomedical advances aimed at improving the health of its citizens and sparking economic development throughout the region.
"We have finalized all details in record time. In little more than 11 months, we have managed to find the necessary funds for what can become a financial and scientific resource for the entire Mediterranean Basin," said Gianfranco Miccich, deputy minister for economic affairs and finance for Southern Italy, at a press conference today in Rome.
For their part, UPMC and the School of Medicine, which comprise one of the leading biomedical research and academic medical centers in the United States, will oversee operations of the center and its scientific programs, train researchers and staff and help to attract research funding and private investors to support rapid commercialization of the discoveries made there. "The benefits of this partnership will reach far beyond Italy. The scientific breakthroughs made here will improve health care around the world, while strengthening our leading research and clinical programs in Pittsburgh," said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president of UPMC. "As we've already proven in Palermo, we have a unique ability to export our best clinical and scientific practices to our international partners."
The BRBC, expected to open by 2010, will focus on five of the most important areas in bi