Share This Page

Progress made on UPMC facilities in Italy

| Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, 5:30 p.m.
As lead architect, HOK designed the research facility as a small, compact village integrated into the landscape.

A long-planned biomedical research complex in Sicily managed by UPMC is moving forward and should be operating in two years, UPMC officials said on Tuesday.

The Italian government is paying for the $269 million biomedical research and biotechnology center, announced in 2006, with the expectation that drugs and vaccines researchers develop there eventually would be commercialized.

“The way I see it, this benefits both Pittsburgh and Sicily, because by working synergistically, the discoveries will move forward much more quickly,” Dr. Bruno Gridelli, vice chairman of the Ri.MED Foundation that oversees the center, told the Tribune-Review from Palermo.

The center was designed by the architectural firm HOK, which designed the Flame Towers project in Baku, Azerbaijan. The architect, selected by a jury of Italian scientists and architects in a worldwide competition, designed the research complex as a compact village connected by a pedestrian street.

UPMC officials said the research center is an extension of its successful multi-specialty hospital in Palermo called ISMETT. UPMC runs the 78-bed hospital under a management contract with the Sicilian government.

The health care giant will have a similar management contract to run the research center in Carini, a town about 15 miles from Palermo.

UPMC would not say how much it will be paid under the agreements. Officials said the center eventually will employ about 700 scientists and other staff members.

Another UPMC project in Italy, a radiotherapy center in Rome, is scheduled to open Dec. 17, said Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC's international and commercial services division.

That center, on the campus of the 500-bed Catholic San Pietro Hospital, will provide cancer treatment not available in the region, Bogosta said.

Patients who need stereotactic radiosurgery must travel 450 miles to Milan, he said. UPMC operates similar cancer treatment facilities in Ireland.

Luis Fábregas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7998 or lfabregas@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.