For a Human-Centered AI

Emerging infectious diseases – FBK joins INF-ACT, an integrated project supported by PNRR funds

December 5, 2022

Through the Health Emergencies Center, directed by Stefano Merler, Trento based Fondazione Bruno Kessler will be the leader, together with Istituto Superiore di Sanità (the Italian National Institute of Health) and the Association of Experimental Zooprophylactic Institutes, of the epidemiology and statistical and mathematical modelling studies for INF-ACT, the new consortium of 25 universities, public and private entities dedicated to emerging infectious diseases.

Inaugurated on December 4, 2022 at Pavia  with the support of the funds of the  PNRR, the consortium provides strong cross-disciplinary skills to address the issue of possible epidemics by integrating aspects of human health, animal health and the environment. Climate and environmental changes underlying changes in wildlife and human interactions, spillover phenomena, epidemic events and numerous other aspects will be analyzed to identify the main current threats and those that may emerge in the future.

“The INF-ACT project”, Stefano Merler said, “represents a unique opportunity to systematize the best Italian competencies for the study of emerging infectious diseases. Based on a One Health approach, which seeks to consider all aspects of an extremely complex problem such as the one related to the transmission of infectious diseases, the project will provide the country with new knowledge and tools, with the hope of improving the ability to respond to future epidemic emergencies”.

Led by the University of Pavia, the project was selected by the Ministry of University and Research and funded with 114.5 million euros, under Mission 4, “Education and Research” – Component 2, “From research to business” of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) – Investment Line 1.3, “Extended Partnerships”, funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.

Five main themes will be at the heart of the operational synergy:

  • Study of emerging and re-emerging viruses;
  • Study of insects and other vectors that carry pathogens and related diseases;
  • Study of antimicrobial resistant pathogens and generation and exchange mechanisms of drug resistance markers;
  • Study of new integrated epidemiological and microbiological surveillance systems (human-animal-environmental); identification of models for the early detection of emerging infections; development of alert mechanisms and predictive mathematical models;
  • Identification of new targets for molecules with anti-infective activity; Design, synthesis and validation of molecules with therapeutic potential with in silico, in vitro, ex vivo and animal model approaches.

The members of the INF-ACT Foundation

Public Universities:

Università di Pavia
Università di Bari Aldo Moro
Università di Bologna
Università di Cagliari
Università di Catania
Università di Milano
Università di Napoli Federico II
Università di Padova
Università di Roma La Sapienza
Università di Siena
Università di Torino

Public entities:

Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Associazione Istituti Zooprofilattici Sperimentali
Fondazione Bruno Kessler
Fondazione Istituto Nazionale di Genetica Molecolare

Universities, IRCCS (Scientific Institutes for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare) and other private entities:

Humanitas University
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Istituto Sacro Cuore Don Calabria IRCCS
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS
Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti IRCCS
Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Campus Bio-Medico
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Ospedale Pediatrico Bambin Gesù


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