Professor Franco Mandelli 1931-2018
The world-renowned Professor Franco Mandelli, a true "founder" of Italian hematology, passed away on July 15, 2018 at the age of 87.
Professor Mandelli was born in Bergamo and graduated in medicine with full marks and honors at the University of Milan.
A visionary and pioneer, he organized the first international conferences on acute leukemia, held repeatedly in Rome in the late '70s and '80s, as well as the First International Symposium on Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in 1993.
"Over the decades, Professor Mandelli has really changed hematology in Italy, fostering research and advancing clinical care in many fields. His contributions to the management of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), just to quote one of his main scientific interests, are well-recognized by the international community," says Professor Gianluca Gaidano, Board member of the European Hematology Association (EHA).
Professor Mandelli led the Italian Munticenter Group GIMEMA from 1982 onwards and anticipated the feasibility and potential of clinical studies conducted by large cooperative groups. His legacy lives on in the work of the many Italian hematologists he mentored during his long and extraordinary career.
In 1967, he was appointed as Professor of Hematology at Rome Policlinico Umberto. He moved to Sapienza University Hospital in 1975 where he established the Institute of Hematology in 1979. This institute with an adult and a pediatric ward, a stem cell transplantation unit, an emergency unit as well as a unit for hemorrhagic and thrombotic diseases, was directed by Professor Mandelli until 2003. Since 2011 he has been Professor Emeritus at Sapienza University.
Outside this important work, Professor Mandelli also created a guest house "Residenza Vanessa" for patients not living in Rome.
In addition, he was President of the Italian Association against Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma, a major charity in Italy dedicated to hematoncologic patients and promoting care and research of blood disorders in many ways and through very innovative initiatives.
Professor Mandelli's work, dedication and empathy will be dearly missed within the Italian as well as within the international hematology community.