Paolo Bianco, anatomical pathologist and professor of the University “La Sapienza” of Rome, dedicated his studies to complex diseases and to mesenchymal and skeletal stem cells.
He spent some years at University College London, where he became a leading world expert in this area. He then worked at the National Institutes of Health (US), before returning to Sapienza in Rome, where he created the Laboratory of Stem Cells and gathered an excellent group of researchers from the University’s Department of Molecular Medicine.
Paolo "enjoyed boundless admiration from his students", and his lessons "were exemplary for clarity, rigour, brilliance and humour." He was a regular faculty member at the annual Hydra Summer School on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, where his lectures certainly met those criteria, and were always a highlight of the week.
Paolo was a principal investigator and partner on the EuroStemCell project (as well as several other European projects), working with us most recently on the tricky and ever topical issue of mesenchymal stem cells.
Paolo was always "a voice that was always rigorous and impartial", and for many years in Italy stood up for scientific freedom, most recently in the battle against Stamina, often at significant personal cost.
He was awarded the ISSCR's public service award in 2014, with colleagues Elena Cattaneo and Michele De Luca, in recognition of their involvement in public debate and policy-making in Italy and their championing of rigorous scientific and medical standards and stringent regulatory oversight in the introduction of new stem cell treatments into the clinic.