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Open letter to the Minister of Health, Italy

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Honorable Minister,

The signers of this letter, all active in the field of health care, research and teaching of medicine, are surprised to hear that a widely appreciated physician and researcher, for many years active in the field of cystic fibrosis, has not been considered adequate to serve as the director of the main Italian center for the treatment of this disease.

The Cystic Fibrosis Center of Verona is recognized as the leading in Italy and is known worldwide for its excellence in the treatment and research on cystic fibrosis. This center has developed programs for basic research, has started one of the first newborn screening programs in the world, is engaged in research of new drugs, has always been represented at the level of committees and international scientific institutions.

Dr Carlo Castellani is a world-known personality. He has been secretary of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS), vice-president and later president of the Italian Cystic Fibrosis Society; has been presented with the 2015 ECFS award as a personality who has made an outstanding contribution to the care of people with cystic fibrosis; has directed and coordinated international programs and led more than 100 scientists from different countries to produce the current guidelines for the standards of care for CF; is deputy editor of the world's leading scientific journal in the field (Journal of Cystic Fibrosis) and has authored of more than eighty scientific papers published in main medical journals; has received funding from Italian, European and American institutions; has been invited to give talks in many countries and by several scientific societies; he is a recognized authority in the world in the field of genetic and newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. He continues to lead international programs of great importance for the study of this disease. Finally, Dr. Castellani has recently obtained the credentials for Associate Professor of Medical Genetics and Full Professor of Pediatrics in Italy.

We strongly feel that Dr. Carlo Castellani deserves the position of Director of the CF center in Verona, but we are dismayed to hear that his merits were not properly acknowledged.

We sincerely believe that this affair harms the scientific and clinical image of Italy in the specific field of cystic fibrosis.

Signed by:

Carlo Di Lorenzo
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus Ohio (USA)
Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s, Columbus Ohio (USA). Past president of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)

Alessio Fasano
Harvard Medical School – Boston (USA)
W. Allan Walker Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition - Division Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition; Director, Center for Celiac Research and Treatment - Director, Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center; Associate Chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research – Harvard Medical School – Boston (USA)

Stefano Guandalini
University of Chicago (USA)
Professor and Chief, Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology - University of Chicago (USA)
Professor of Pediatrics – University of Chicago (USA)
Section Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
Founder and Medical Director, University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
Già Presidente della European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) e della Federation of International Societies of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (FISPGHAN)

Luigi Daniele Notarangelo
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH Bethesda (USA)
Chief, Immune Deficiency Genetics Section - Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Host Defenses
National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Bethesda (USA)

Giulio Cossu
Constance Thornley Professor of Regenerative Medicine Manchester Academic Health Science Center, Manchester UK

Christiane (Kris) De Boeck
Prof Pediatrics, University of Leuven, president European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS)

Pavel Drevinek
Director, CF Centre Prague, ECFS Board member

Milan Macek
Professor of Molecular Genetics, Cochair of the Prague Cystic Fibrosis Centre
Sr.   Head of the Diagnostics lab, CF Cetnre Prague

Keith Ooi
Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Head of Cystic Fibrosis Gut Research

Vera Vavrova
CF center, Prague

Kevin Southern
Professor of Child Health, University of Liverpool, UK

Kevin Gaskin
Professor and Director James Fairfax Institute, Children's Hospital at Westmead , Sydney Australia

Claude Férec
Prof of Human molecular genetic, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, INSERM

Patrick Sosnay
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University, US

Anders Lindblad
Associate Professor, Head of Gothenburg CF center

Lena Hjelte
Professor of Pediatrics, Stockholm CF Center, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm

Felix Ratjen
Sellers Chair in Cystic Fibrosis, Head, Respiratory Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Professo, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Carlos Vazquez Cordero
Health of Cystic fibrosis paediatric center. HU Cruces. Bilbao. Spain

Anil Mehta
Division of Molecular & Clinical Medicine School of Medicine, University of Dundee

Yeshoua Cohen Hemsi
The eldest pharmaceutical generic businessman (retired)

Prof. Dr. Harm Tiddens
Head of CF Research Erasmus MC -Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam

Harry Heijerman
Pulmonologist, Head of Department of pulmonology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Isabel Barrio
Head of Cystic Fibrosis pediatric unit .Hopspital Universitario La Paz .Madrid .Spain

Hugo de Jonge
Professor of Biochemistry, CF reseacher

Anne Munck
University Hospital Paris 7, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, Hopital Robert Debré, Paediatric CF centre Director

Stuart Elborn
Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College, and Consultant Physician, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London

Silvia Gartner
Coordinator of Cystic Fibrosis Unit. Hospital Universitari Vall d´Hebron. Barcelona.Spain

Clement Ren
Professor of Pediatrics and Cystic Fibrosis Center Director, Indiana University USA

Mary Corey
Scientist Emeritus, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Susanna McColley
Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Associate Chief Research Officer, Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute; Associate Director, Cystic Fibrosis Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Chicago, IL, USA

Danieli Salinas
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California (USC). Director of Cystic Fibrosis Research

Tania Pressler
MD, head Cystic Fibrosis Centre Copenhagen

Daniel Sher

Isabelle Sermet-Gaudelus
Professor of Pediatrics, Director of INSERM REsearch lab

Eitan Kerem
Professor of Pediatrics, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Head CF Center, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem

Batsheva Kerem
Professor of Genetics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Karen Raraigh
Genetic counselor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Gilles Rault
Head of Roscoff CF Centre

Laurent Meijer
President & Chief Scientific Officer of ManRos Therapeutics, Roscoff, FRANCE

Sara Sher
Medico Anestesista Rianimatore ASST Niguarda Ca'Granda Milano 

Michele Fiore
Ricercatore, IBF, Genova

Giuseppe Magazzù
Professore Ordinario di Pediatria – Università di Messina
Già Presidente della Società Italiana di Gastroenterologia, Epatologia e Nutrizione Pediatrica (SIGENP) e della Società Italiana Fibrosi Cistica (SIFC)

Giuseppe Maggiore
Professore Ordinario di Pediatria
Direttore della Sezione di Pediatria - Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Università di Ferrara
Già Presidente della Società Italiana di Gastroenterologia, Epatologia e Nutrizione Pediatrica (SIGENP)

Mattia Gentile
Direttore UOC Laboratorio Genetica Medica
ASL Bari - PO Di Venere

Antonio Amoroso
Professore Ordinario di Genetica Medica Università di Torino

Michele Samaja
Professore Ordinario di Biochimica Università di Milano

Stefano Ceri
Professore ordinario di Database Systems Politecnico di Milano

Paola Emilia Cicerone
Giornalista scientifico

Faustina Lalatta
Responsabile UOSD di Genetica Medica
Dipartimento Area della Donna del Bambino e del Neonato
Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda
Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico MILANO

Baroukh Maurice Assael
Ex direttore Centro Fibrosi Cistica Verona

Francesca Torricelli
Ex direttore della SOD di Diagnostica Genetica Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi Firenze
Coordinatore del Gruppo di Lavoro Sigu Sanità
Membro  del consiglio dell'Istituto di Bioetica Italiano sez. Toscana  e della Fondazione Firmo

Paola Mosconi
Laboratorio di ricerca sul coinvolgimento dei cittadini in sanità
IRCCS Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri

Anna Bossi
Associato di Statistica Medica
Presidente del Corso di Laurea in Medicina e Chirurgia - Polo Centrale
Laboratorio di Statistica Medica, Biometria ed Epidemiologia "G.A. Maccacaro".
Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e di Comunità

Anna Zolin
Dipartimento di Scienze cliniche e di Comunità Università di Milano
Responsabile di Gestione e Analisi dati European Cystic Fibrosis Society Patients Registry

Roberto Satolli
Zadig, Scienzainrete
Consigliere Fondazione Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Milano

Giulia Candiani
Zadig, Partecipasalute

Antonio Addis

Francesco Blasi
Professore ordinario Università degli studi di Milano

Luca Carra
Direttore Scienzainrete

Giuseppe Castaldo
Ordinario di Medicina di Laboratorio Università di Napoli Federico II, già Presidente della Società Italiana di Biochimica Clinica

Bruno Dallapiccola
Direttore Scientifico Ospedale Bambino Gesù, Roma

Pietro Dri
Giornalista scientifico

Stefano Duga
Professore Ordinario di Biologia Molecolare, Humanitas University. Direttore del Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche

Luigi Greco
Prof. di Pediatria, Univ. di Napoli Federico II

Oscar Moran
Ricercatore, Istituto di Biofisica, CNR, Genova

Rita Padoan
Responsabile Centro Regionale di supporto per la Fibrosi Cistica - ASST Spedali Civili Brescia

Anna Roberto
Laboratorio di ricerca sul coinvolgimento dei cittadini in sanità IRCCS Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri

Silvana Tedeschi
Laboratorio di Genetica Medica, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano

Emanuela Caci
PhD. Istituto G.Gaslini, Genova, Italia

Mario Romano
Direttore Laboratorio di Medicina Molecolare, Università degli Studi G. D'Annunzio di Chieti-Pescara

Gennaro Lacaita
D.M. Ospedaliero

Marco Soria
Professore Ordinario di Biochimica Università di Salerno

Giovanni Morana
Direttore UOC Radiologia Diagnostica Ospedale di Treviso. Centro di Ricerca sulla RM in Fibrosi Cistica

Stefano Costa

Marco Lucarelli
Professore Associato di Biochimica Clinica e Biologia Molecolare Clinica, Sapienza Università di Roma

Fulvio Ferrara
Direttore Servizio Integrato di Medicina di Laboratorio e Anatomia Patologica - CDI - Centro Diagnostico Italiano, Milano Professore a Contratto Corso di Laurea in Fisioterapia Università Vita Salute San Raffaele, Milano

Claudio Beltramello

Carlo Manfredi
Presidente Ordine medici Massa Carrara

Paola Primignani
Dirigente biologo, Servizio di Genetica Medica, ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Milano

Alessandro Ventura
Professore Ordinario di Pediatria, Università di Trieste

Elisabetta Dejana
Prof Ordinario di Patologia Generale alla Università di Milano e alla Università di Uppsala Svezia. Direttrice della Unita' di Ricerca di Biologia vascolare all'istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare

Fabio Majo
Pediatra, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Roma

Antonio Manca
Responsabile Centro Regionale Pugliese di Riferimento per la Fibrosi Cistica, A.O.U. "Policlinico" Bari 

Laura Minicucci
Responsabile Centro di riferimento regionale per la Fibrosi Cistica della Regione Liguria I.G.Gaslini, Genova

Pierfrancesco Morganti
Temporary prof of Skin Pharmacolgy, 2nd University of Naples,Visiting Professor China Medical University, Shenyang

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