18th ICASA | 29 NOV - 4 DEC 2015 | HARARE | ZIMBABWE
ICASA 2015 Zimbabwe > Speakers > Professor Stefano Vella
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Professor Stefano Vella


vellaStefano Vella (born in Rome, June 12, 1952) received his degree in Medicine from the University of Rome in 1977. He subsequently achieved specialty degrees in both Infectious Diseases (1982) and Internal Medicine (1987). After a postdoctoral experience at the University of Pennsylvania (1981-1982), he joined the medical staff at the Institute of Internal Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, where he developed an extensive experience in the clinical management of internal medicine and infectious diseases patients.

– In 1991, Dr Vella was appointed Research Director of HIV/AIDS at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), the Italian National Institute of Health. Since 2003, he is the Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Research of the ISS, where he directs and supervises 270 staff members working on different areas of human therapeutic research. The scientific and research focus of Dr Vella has been mainly based on his infectious diseases and internal medicine backgrounds. His work in resource limited setting also concerns tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, neglected tropical diseases, emerging chronic diseases and health systems strenghtening.

– Specific work has been conducted by Dr Vella and his research group on the clinical development of antiretroviral therapy; the study of HIV resistance to antiretroviral drugs; the mechanisms of immune reconstitution; the care and treatment of co-infections, including TB; the area of health needs assessment; the area of operational and implementation research in resource limited settings. He is currently also

– At the beginning of the era of combination antiretroviral treatment, he chaired – or participated to – numerous international clinical studies on antiretroviral therapy: including the first studies with protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; the strategic studies to assess the best first-line and second line regimens. As a consequence of his work, he was appointed to the Panel who developed the first HIV treatment guidelines (JAMA, 1996). From 2006 till 2013 he chaired the European AIDS Clinical Trials Network (NEAT), funded by the European Commission, involving 40 european partner institutions from 16 countries.

– Since 1996, as Member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society [IAS] and subsequently as IAS President (2000-2002), he actively worked towards promoting access to treatment and care in the South of the World and has been instrumental for the organization of the AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (2000). He subsequently chaired the 1st IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, Buenos Aires, 2001, and the XIV International Conference on AIDS, Barcelona, 2002.

– As President of the IAS (2000-2002) Dr Vella actively fostered access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment in the South of the World. In 2001, he was invited to contribute and speak at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on AIDS (UNGASS – New York, June 23-25, 2001). He subsequently Chaired the first WHO/UNAIDS/IAS Consultative Meeting on Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource Poor Settings (2000) and the WHO/ISS/IAS International Consultation on Global Monitoring of Antiretroviral Resistance (2000).

– Since 2003, Dr Vella is the Director of Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Research at ISS, where he oversee the research activities of over 270 staff members in different human disease areas, acquiring extensive research management expertise.

– Dr Vella, from 2004 until 2008, has been a member of the Scientific Advice Working Group (SAWG) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), London, where he acquired an extensive expertise in the regulatory aspects of the clinical development of medicines, in different human disease areas, from the preclinical phase to phase III clinical trials.

– Dr Vella is a scientific advisor of the Italian Cooperation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in different African countries, and is involved in the setting of specific operational and implementation programs in Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

– Dr Vella served on the Technical Review Panel (TRP) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), where he acquired an extensive experience in the evaluation of country programs to fight poverty-related diseases. Dr Vella subsequently served as the Italian board member of the GFTAM (2006-2007), and is currently a member of the Italian Constituency.

– Dr Vella participated, since the beginning, to the building of the EDCTP. He is currently the italian member of the General Assembly of EDCTP2 and vice-chair of the Board.

– As member of the Program Committee of the 7° Framework Research Program of the European Commission (DG – Research, Health) he acquired an extensive exerience on the functioning of European Commission Health Research System.

– Dr Vella is Vice President of the Scientific Council, ANRS (Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida), Paris, France, and Vice-President of the Friends of Global Fund – Europe.

– Member of the UNAIDS Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee , of the Quality Hub Program of the Global Fund, Geneva.

– He chaired the Panel who developed the 2013 WHO Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Treatment and Care, and is currently a member of the Core Group developing the 2015 WHO Guidelines.

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