His main areas of research are tumor immunology and immunotherapy, with a focus on the development of cancer vaccines and antibody and cytokine treatment in gastrointestinal and chronic B cell malignancies. Further, he has implemented a program developing targeted therapy using small molecules for the treatment of lymphoproliferative diseases. He has a great interest in the development of biosimilars. He was awarded the Alfaferone Prize (Italy) in 1989 and in 2001 the Jan Waldenström Award (USA).
Prof. Mellstedt served as the Chairman of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Foundation from 2008 to 2011, dedicated to promoting medical training and research for the benefit of cancer patients. He was the President of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) from 2006-2007, and from 1993-2000 was the Chairman of the Swedish Medical Society of Oncology.
He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Swedish Cancer Foundation 1987-2000. He was the Chairman of the Scientific Committee evaluating medical research at Radiumhospital/Rikshospital Oslo, Norway, and Chairman of the Committee for Clinical Medical Research of the Norwegian Research Council. He is the Chairman of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Scientific Secretary of the Cancer Society in Stockholm and King Gustaf 5th Jubilee Fund, and Scientific Advisor of the Lundbeck’s Foundation (Denmark). He has been a member of the Accreditation Council of Oncology in Europe (ACOE) since 2009.
Prof. Mellstedt has published more than 475 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, is the author of numerous oncology chapters in professional medical textbooks, and has been an invited speaker at more than 190 international symposia. He is/has been on the editorial boards of several international scientific journals.
Prof. Bellanti, a native of Buffalo New York, received his M.D. degree from the University of Buffalo in 1958. Following completion of an internship and residency at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in 1961, he received post-doctoral training in developmental immunology at the University of Florida School of Medicine, Gainesville in 1961-62 and later continued his studies as a research virologist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. in 1962-65. In 1963, he joined the faculty of the Georgetown University School of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology, where he rose to his current position of Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology-Immunology in 1970.
Soon after arriving at Georgetown, he realized that his goal of generating new knowledge in immunology and translating it to clinical use would require adopting a multidisciplinary approach to immunology that would involve a horizontal matrix including both basic and clinical investigators, allied health professionals, statisticians, and health educators and the public. Accordingly, in 1975 he established and became the Director of the International Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Immunology at Georgetown University Medical Center and later Director of the Division of Allergy-Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics and the Division of Virology and Immunology in the Department of Laboratory Medicine of Georgetown University Hospital, positions he currently holds as consultant. The location of ICISI in the nation’s capital has enhanced its international perspective; students, physicians, and scientists from all over the world are invited to study there.
Prof. Bellanti has focused a major investigative effort on antimicrobial research, evaluation of new vaccine strategies and developmental immunology. Together with other investigators, he has studied antibody and phagocytic cell function in the newborn human and in experimental model systems. He and his colleagues described the antiviral activity of the secretory IgA system in respiratory secretions and later cellular responses to viral infections following immunization or natural infection. A major collaborative effort with Mexican colleagues is being directed to the study of protective immune responses to measles vaccine administration via the nasal route, a technique originally developed by Dr. Albert B. Sabin, one of Prof. Bellanti’s scientific teachers.
In addition to teaching medical students and residents, he has directed a postgraduate training program in developmental immunology since 1968 and a clinical residency program in allergy and immunology since 1978. The ICISI has trained over 200 candidates who come to the Center from the U.S. and from countries throughout the world. He served on the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a conjoint board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics from 1975 to 1980, and was its president from 1979 to 1980.
Prof. Bellanti is past-president of the Society for Pediatric Research (1980); InterAsma (1987-90); the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI, 1991-92); and the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (AMLI, 1992-93). He frequently lectures abroad in Europe and South America, sometimes in fluent Spanish or Italian. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the E. Mead Johnson Award for excellence in pediatric research (1970); the Outstanding Educators of America Award of the William Peck Society (1972), from the American College of Allergy and Immunology; the Humanitarian Award for “excellence and service and teaching of clinical immunology” in 1974; and the Distinguished Fellow Award in 1981. In 1998 he received the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from the State University of Buffalo in New York. He is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of Palermo (1992) and Georgetown University (2002).
Dr. Bellanti has published more than 400 scientific articles and abstracts, and numerous textbook chapters, and a widely acclaimed textbook in immunology, which he is now preparing for publication in its fourth edition. He was editor in chief of Pediatric Research from 1975 to 1983 and editor-in-chief of Annals of Allergy from 1982 to 1990, and has been editor-in-chief of Allergy, Asthma Proceedings since 2004.
He entered the U.S. Army as a captain and trained at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and Army School of Aviation Medicine. Subsequently, he was assigned to the NASA Manned Space Center in 1964 as a rated army flight surgeon and research medical officer.
In 1968, Dr. Fischer was appointed to the positions of Pathologist and Chief of Clinical Laboratories at the Manned Spacecraft Center and NASA Flight Surgeon and Chief of the Crew Reception Area of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, serving in the crew quarantine area for all three lunar quarantine missions (Apollo 11, 12, and 14). He served as a flight surgeon and Research Medical Officer at the launch and recovery sites for all manned launches and recoveries from Gemini IV through Apollo 15, and as an operational flight surgeon for STS 1, 2, and 3.
He was a co-investigator for the Skylab experiment M115 (special haematological effects), which flew on Skylabs 2, 3, and 4. He was elected by the National Academy of Sciences as an Astronaut Mission Payload Specialist candidate for the Space Lab-1 mission.
During his three tours at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. Fischer served as Pathologist and Chief of Clinical Laboratories, Medical Operations Branch; Chief, Division of Space Science; Chief, Division of Space Medicine and Health Care Systems; Assistant to the Director for Space Medicine; and Assistant Director for International Space Medicine (from which he retired in January 2007).
In addition to his time with NASA, he also served in multiple capacities at other government agencies including the Department of Interior, the National Academy of Engineering, and the U.S. Air Force.
Dr. Fischer has received numerous awards for his work on the Gemini, Apollo, and Sky Lab projects. He has been honoured with the Dept. of the Air Force Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the Russian Federal Space Agency Medal for International Cooperation in Space Exploration, Astronaut Silver Snoopy Award and the American Astronautical Society Melbourne W. Boynton Award.
He is certified by the American Board of Anatomic Pathology, the American Board of Clinical Pathology, and The American Board of Nuclear Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. He is a Fellow of the College of American Pathology, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Royal Society of Heath, and the Aerospace Medical Association.
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