European Genetics Foundation - Presentation of The Ronzano Project

Presentation of The Ronzano Project

The European School of Genetic Medicine was founded in 1988 and saw rapid success, which necessitated that an administrative body be formed. To this end the European Genetics Foundation was born in Genoa on 20 November 1995, with the following aims:

  • to run the ESGM, promoting the advanced scientific and professional training of young European Geneticists, with particular attention to the applications in the field of preventive medicine;
  • to promote public education about genetics discoveries;
  • to organize conferences, courses, international prizes and initiatives aimed at bringing together the scientific and humanistic disciplines.

The ESGM began receiving funding from the European Union and from other international organizations including the European Society of Human Genetics, the Federation of European Biochemical Societies, the March of Dimes and UNESCO. Since its founding, the ESGM has become a model for other European institutions responsible for advanced training in genetics.

In order to fully realize all of the European Genetics Foundation’s aims, the Foundation has identified a permanent site for the ESGM at the Hermitage of Ronzano, a monastery situated in the hills of Bologna, at 3.5 km from the city center and 7 km from the airport. The monastic order of the Servants of Maria, founded in Florence in 1233 and owner of the Hermitage, donated 16,000 m² for the purpose of constructing this center, which will be named the Giuseppe Levi and Victor A. Mckusick Euro-Mediterranean Center for Genetics and Medicine. Giuseppe Levi, a world-famous scientist, trained three Nobel Laureates (Salvador Luria, Renato Dulbecco and Rita Levi-Montalcini), and Victor A. McKusick is considered the father of medical genetics throughout the world.

The European Genetics Foundation envisions the Ronzano Center as a venue for advanced training, and as a think tank where experts in genetics and related disciplines from all over the world can discuss issues of scientific, social, and political relevance, and to develop problem-solving strategies to address these issues.

The new center will host:

  • the European School of Genetic Medicine (ESGM)
  • a European observatory for the legislation regarding genetic testing and policy regarding genetics research
  • advanced scientific courses outside of the area of Genetics, geared toward scientist from developing countries
  • a residential center in which Professors and students can live during residential courses
  • the Federation of the Association for Rare Diseases of Emilia-Romagna. (GIG, Genetic Interest Groups)
  • various projects to diffuse information about genetics to the public.

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