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ISS : About Us : ISS Personnel : Carlo Petrini 

Carlo Petrini 
Senior Researcher

Telephone: +39 +39 06 4990 4021
Viale Regina Elena 299
00161 - Roma (I)


Curriculum vitae

Biographical Notes

Head of the Bioethics Unit, Office of the President, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS)
Delegate of the President of the ISS on the National Bioethics Committee
Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life

Author of more than 450 publications (about 30% in international journals). Lists of publications are available at:

- Born in Turin, 1965
- Degree in Biological Sciences, 1988 (110/110 with honour and mention. Prize Sgaravatti)
- Qualification to the Biologist Association, 1990
- Post-university specializations: Bioethics; Communications Sciences
- Cours Universitaires de langue, lettres et civilisation françaises (Université de Paris Sorbonne), 1984 (with honour)
- Prize Superior School of Journalism in Venice Mestre - Centre Kolbe
- Prize Atheste - Education Superintendency of Padua

- Since 2005: Senior researcher, ISS
- 1993-2005: Research assistant, ISS
- 1988-1993: Scholarships and contracts, ISS


2004-2007: at the National Centre of Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion (ISS): Head of the Bioethics Unit. Since 2007 the Bioethics Units has been located in the Office of the President of the ISS

1) Appointment from the Minister of the Health:
- Since 2011: Member of the Working Group of the Italian National Health Council “Platelet gel from placental blood”
- Since 2007: Member of the Committee on hematopoietic cord blood stem cells (Decree of the Minister of the Health, 20 February 2007)
2) Appointment from the Pontifical Academy for Life:
- Since 2011: Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life
- Since 2010: Member of the Working Group “Cord blood biobanks: ethical, juridical, social and cultural implications”
3) Appointment from the President of the ISS:
- Since 2014: Representative of the ISS on the Medicines Utilization Monitoring Centre (Italian Medicines Agency)
- Since 2013: Delegate of the President of the ISS on the National Bioethics Committee
- Since 2011: Member of the Panel of Experts of the Italian National Health Council
- Since 2009: Member of the Commission for the Definition of Kidney Allocation Criteria (Italian National Transplant Centre)
- Since 2007: Member of the Ethics Committee of the General Hospital Fatebenefratelli
- Since 2006: Member of the National Commission for the Program of Crossover Kidney Transplant
- Since 2006: Member of the Interdepartmental Commission on Oncology of ISS
- Since 2005 to 2010: Member of the Ethics Committee of the Neurological Institute Casimiro Mondino
- Since 2005: Member of the Working Group on the living donor crossover kidney transplant (Italian National Transplant Centre)
- Since 2004: Member of the Ethics Committee of ISS (since 2013 also Secretary)
- Since 2004: Member of the Ethics Committee of the Mediterranean Institute of Haematology
- Since 2004: Advisor of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the disciplinary area: Bioethics
4) Appointment from the President of the Joint Commission National Bioethics Committee – National Committee for Biosecurity, Biotechnologies and Life Sciences (Presidency of the Council of Ministers):
- Expert for the Joint Commission (2009-2010) (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers 17 February 2009)
- Member of the Commission on standardized informed consent for the storage of biological samples in biobanks (2008-2009)
5) Appointment from the President of the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment (now: National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development)(ENEA):
- Since 2003: Member of the Bioethics Committee of ENEA
6) Appointment from the Director of the Italian National Transplant Centre:
- Since 2009: Member of the Advisory Committee for the authorisation of autologous-dedicated conservation of cord blood (Decree of the Minister of the Health 18 November 2009; Decree of the Minister of the Health 23 November 2012)
- Since 2007: Member of the Permanent Technical Council for Transplant
7) Appointment from the President of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples:
- Since 2011: Member of the Ethics Committee of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
8) Appointment from the Director of the Italian National Blood Center:
- Since 2013: Member of the Working group on hyperimmune blood plasma
9) Appointment from the Director of the Italian National Blood Center:
- Since 2013: Member of the Working group on hyperimmune blood plasma
11) Other institutionary appointments:
- Member of the Editorial Board of:
+ Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs
+ International Journal of Clinical Therapeutics and Diagnosis
+ Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics
- Occasional contributor to “L’Osservatore Romano”
- Since 2013: Ethics adviser of the Front Door of the Italian Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure (IATRIS)
- Since 2012: Member of the Working Group “Disposal of Hematopoietic Stem Cells” of the Italian Society of Hemapheresis and Cell Manipulation (SIdEM)
- Since 2012: Member of the Ethics Committee of the Health Agency Rome-C
- Since 2012: Professor at the Master in “Professional responsibility of the physician and of the odontologist”, Justice and Health Association (Associazione Giustizia e Sanità) – Italian Supreme Court of Cassation
- Since 2011: Member of the Working Group on Ethical Issues of Alzheimer Europe
- Since 2011: Member of the Working Group “Proposal of a regulation for research biobanks and of criteria for sample donation” of the Italian Node of “BBMRI: Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure”
- Since 2011: Ethics Advisor of the project “The impact of DEmographic Changes on Infectious DisEases transmission and control in middle/low income countries, DECIDE” (European Research Council and Bocconi University, Dondena Centre)
- Since 2010: Member of the Advisory Board of the project “Italy and its regions”, Institute of the Italian Encyclopaedia Treccani
- 2010: Member of the technical commission of the prize Alesini - Cittadinanzattiva - Amgen “Good practices in the patient-centred care”
- Since 2009: Member of the Advisory Board of “Clinical Trial Magnifier”
- 2009- 2010: Member of the International Advisory Board of the manual “Reviewing clinical trials: A guide for ethics committee” (Clinical Trials Centre, University of Hong Kong; Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Projects Protection Programs, Washington DC)
- Since 2000: Scientific director of courses of the ISS on the ethics of: clinical trials, public health, environmental and health risks

Research Activity

- Since 1996: Researches in bioethics
- 1991-2000: Researches in bioelectromagnetism
- 1988-1991: Researches in virology
- Speaker and chairman to congresses and conferences on bioethics
- Reviewer for international journals (bioethical issues)
- Author of the book "Bioetica, ambiente rischio" ("Bioethics, environment, risk". I edition: 2002, 448 pag. - II edition: 2003, 557 pag.). The book received the International Prize Peccei

Research Projects

1) Scientific responsibility:
- Participating Unit "Bioethics", Project "Nosographic revision of vegetative states: application of behavioural analysis methods in the study of subjects in coma and vegetative state" (Ministry of Health; 2010-2012)
- Working Group "Bioethics", Program 1 of "Alleanza Contro il Cancro" (Alliance Against Cancer) on: "Reduction of disparities in the patients’ access to diagnostic and therapeutic resources", work package 5: "Establishment of a national information service on cancer" (2008-2010)
- EuroPHEN - European Public Health Ethics Network (Convention ISS/European Commission; Scientific responsible since 2003)

2) Partnership:
- RD-CONNECT: An integrated platform connecting registries, biobanks and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease research (since 2012)
- BBMRI: Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (since 2010)
- The Network of Italian Oncologic Banks (RIBBO) of "Alleanza Contro il Cancro". Cooperating Unit 1: Bioethics (since 2009)
- EATRIS - The European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicines (since 2007)
- AD Care - Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and antipsychotics: a long term, multicentre, double blind, randomised clinical trial (member of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board; since 2007)
- EUROCAN+PLUS - Feasibility Study for Coordination of National Cancer Activities (since 2006)
- Bioethical issues in clinical experimentation or techniques utilizing ionizing radiations (since 2001)
- Retrieval and diffusion of information in the field of the bioethics by means of an integrated electronic system (since 1999)

3) Collaboration:
- Ethicsweb: Inter-connected European information and documentation system for ethics and science: European Ethics Documentation Centre (since 2008)

Incarichi Istituzionali

- Since 2010: Professor at the International Master in BioLaw. Research Institute Biogem
- Since 2002: Professor at the Master in Environmental Sciences of the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University and, since 2006, of the European University of Rome
- Since 2002: Member of the Ethical Core of the project “Genome-wide analyses of European twin and population cohorts to identify genes predisposing to common diseases”
- Since 2001: Professor of Environmental Ethics and of Public Health Ethics, Faculty of Bioethics - Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University
- 2001-2002: Professor of bioethics, Faculty of Medicine - Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
- 1999-2013: Entrusted of the section “Ethics of the Biology” of the journal “Biologi Italiani”
- Supervisor to thesis of degree and doctorate in bioethics
- Teacher in various courses of bioethics
- Advisor on bioethical issues to:
+ European Commission
+ Italian Data Protection Authority
+ Italian National Blood Centre
+ Italian National Transplant Centre
+ Italian Superior Council of Magistracy
+ European Science Foundation
+ Ministry of Health
+ Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
+ Senate of the Italian Republic


since- Since 2010: Italian Society for Safety and Quality in Transplant (SISQT)
- Since 2009: Italian Society for Organ Transplantation (SITO)
- Since 2009: The Italian Society of Environment and Health
- Since 2008: European Public Health Law Network (EPHLN)
- Since 2004: National Institute for the Study, the Evaluation and the Prevention of the Risk in the Technological Activities (INRPAT)
- Since 2000: Italian Society for Bioethics and the Ethics Committees (SIBCE)
- Since 2000: Association of Scientists and Technologists for the Ethics of the Development (STES)
- Since 1995: European Countries Biologists Association
- Since 1990: Directive of the “International Communication Society"
- Since 1990: Scientific committee of the journal “Innovazione, Comunicazione, Sviluppo”



  1. Petrini C. On the minimal risk threshold in research with children: "substantive goods" and other criteria. American journal of bioethics 2014;14(9):23-24.
  2. Petrini C. Blood and blood-associated symbols: some ethical and legal considerations [editorial]. Blood transfusion 2014;12(1):10-13.
  3. Petrini C. Ethical and legal aspects of refusal of blood transfusions by Jehovah's Witnesses, with particular reference to Italy. Blood transfusion 2014;12(1 Suppl):s395-s401.
  4. Petrini C. Production of plasma-derived medicinal products: ethical implications for blood donation and donors. Blood transfusion 2014;12(1 Suppl):s389-s394.
  5. Petrini C. From bench to bedside and to health policies (and back): ethics in translational research. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2014;50(1):62-66.
  6. Petrini C. Procedures for the ethical review of public health surveillance protocols. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2014;50(1):1-3.
  7. Petrini C. Some comments on the new regulations governing Ethics Committees in Italy. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2014;50(2):160-162.
  8. Farisco M, Alleva E, Chiarotti F, Macrì S, Petrini C. Clinicians’ attitudes toward patients with disorders of consciousness: a survey. Neuroethics 2014;7(1):93-104.
  9. Petrini C. Helsinki 50 years on [editorial]. Clinica terapeutica 2014;165(4):123-125.
  10. Petrini C. Regulatory policies in paediatric research: how armonized are the ethical principles? Clinica terapeutica 2014;165(1):e64-e69.
  11. Petrini C. Some considerations on integrity in scientific research. Clinica terapeutica 2014;165(2):e186-e190.
  12. Comitato nazionale per la bioetica. Biobanche pediatriche. Roma: Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri; 2014.
  13. Comitato nazionale per la bioetica. Le demenze e la malattia di Alzheimer: considerazioni etiche. Roma: Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri. Comitato nazionale per la bioetica; 2014.
  14. Petrini C. Alcuni aspetti di etica nella pratica della contenzione. In: Saltarelli S, Vicchi S, ed. Contenzione o protezione? Aspetti assistenziali, sanitari, sociali e legali nell’uso delle contenzioni Santarcangelo di Romagna: Maggioli; 2014. p.15-27.
  15. Petrini C. European regulations and ethical issues on cord blood banking. In: Ilic D, ed. Stem cell banking New York: Springer Science + Business Media; 2014. p.51-63.
  16. Petrini C. Salutari ramificazioni. Un documento dell'Unesco sui temi bioetici. L'Osservatore romano 2014;5 Giu,154(126):5.
  17. Petrini C. Se si altera l'alfabeto della vita. L'Osservatore romano 2014;9 Mag,154(104):5.
  18. Petrini C. Umbilical cord blood banking: from personal donation, to international public registries to global bioeconomy. Journal of blood medicine 2014;5:87-97.
  19. Petrini C. Una strada per la medicina. Mezzo secolo dopo la Dichiarazione di Helsinki. L'Osservatore romano 2014;28 Giu,154(145):5.
  20. Petrini C. Ethics of clinical science in a public health emergency: reflections on the role of research ethics boards. American journal of bioethics 2013;13(9):17-29.
  21. Petrini C. Medical philanthropy and blood supply in light of ethical documents and principles. American journal of bioethics 2013;13(6):54-55.
  22. Petrini C. Ethical issues in umbilical cord blood banking: a comparative analysis of documents from national and international institutions. Transfusion 2013;53(4):902-910.
  23. Petrini C. Is my blood mine? Some comments on the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine [editorial]. Blood transfusion 2013;3(11):321-323.
  24. Petrini C. A few ethical criteria for evaluating the risks for "marginal" living kidney donors. Transplantation proceedings 2013;45(3):1267–1269.
  25. Petrini C. Living organ donations: a comparison between the positions of national bioethics committees. Transplantation proceedings 2013;45(7):2594-2600.
  26. Petrini C, Alleva E. Humans as donors and producers of biological material: some ethical considerations on a thin red line [editorial]. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(4):329-331.
  27. Petrini C, Alleva E. Issues raised by “incidental findings” and their ethical implications [editorial]. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(2):108-109.
  28. Petrini C. Between altruism and commercialisation: some ethical aspects of blood donation. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(4):412-416.
  29. Petrini C. Ethical considerations for evaluating the issue of physical restraint in psychiatry. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(3):281-285.
  30. Petrini C. Ethics in public health surveillance. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(4):347-353.
  31. Petrini C. On the paradoxes of informed consent: strictness with unlikely risks, tolerance with certain harm. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(1):4-5.
  32. Petrini C. Surgical experimentation and clinical trials: differences and related ethical problems. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2013;49(2):230-233.
  33. Petrini C. Experimentation in organ transplants compared with clinical trials: ethical problems. Clinica terapeutica 2013;164(4):e287-e291.
  34. Petrini C. Innovative therapies: general aspects and ethical criteria for evaluating protocols. Clinica terapeutica 2013;164(1):e47-e55.
  35. Petrini C. Organ donation and pre-emptive kidney transplantation: ethical issues. Clinica terapeutica 2013;164(4):e283-e286.
  36. Petrini C. Ten years old, but still in need of a guardian. Clinica terapeutica 2013;164(6):527-528.
  37. Petrini C. Towards clinical bioethics (or a return to clinical ethics?). Clinica terapeutica 2013;164(6):e523-527.
  38. Anzani A, Petrini C. Italian workgroup. In: Carrasco De Paula I, Pegoraro R, ed. Faith and human life. 19. General assembly of members of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Proceedings; February 21-23, 2013; Vatican City. Rome: Pontifical Academy for Life; 2013. p.151-156.
  39. Petrini C. La contenzione dal punto di vista dell’etica. In: Conferenza internazionale Le contenzioni: dalla gestione del rischio clinico alla qualità e sicurezza delle cure. Atti; 23-24 maggio 2013; Roma. Roma: Ministero della Salute; 2013. p.48-50.
  40. Petrini C. Valutazione dei protocolli nella sperimentazione dei farmaci innovativi. In: Convegno Clinica e tecnologia nella medicina contemporanea. Atti; 21-23 novembre 2012; Napoli. Napoli: Comitato etico per le attività biomediche Carlo Romano; 2013. p.162-168.
  41. Petrini C. An ethical framework for the disposal of autologous stem cells. Drug metabolism and drug interactions 2013;28(1):5-12.
  42. Petrini C. Clinical trials with subjects unable to give consent: some ethical-legal paradoxes. Medico-legal journal 2013;81(Pt 3):128-131.
  43. Petrini C. Ethical issues in pre-emptive kidney transplantation. In: De Santo NG et al, ed. Survival is not enough. Meeting the needs of CKD patients Napoli: Istituto italiano per gli studi filosofici, METIS; 2013. p.71-83.
  44. Petrini C. Ethics and law in research with human biological samples: a new approach. Drug metabolism and drug interactions 2013;6 Dec:1-3.
  45. Petrini C. Professional ethics between the individual and society. Physical therapy reviews 2013;18(2):142-143.
  46. Petrini C. The ethics of paediatric trials: questions of procedure and of substance. Medico-legal journal 2013;81(Pt 2):74-76.
  47. Study Group on Banks of Umbilical Cord Blood. Banks of umbilical cord blood. Rome: Pontifical Academy for Life; 2013.
  48. Petrini C. The path from bench to bedside also requires ethics [letter]. Lancet 2012;379(9819):e34-e35.
  49. Petrini C. Personal data and the public health paradigm [letter]. American journal of public health 2012;102(11):e6.
  50. Petrini C. Consent to pediatric research: a couple of distinctions. American journal of bioethics 2012;12(1):37-38.
  51. Petrini C. European regulations on cord blood banking: an overview. Transfusion 2012;52(3):668-679.
  52. Petrini C. A comparative analysis of the opinions from European national and international ethics committees regarding the collection, storage and use of umbilical cord blood. Blood transfusion 2012;10(3):279-289.
  53. Petrini C. Produzione di farmaci plasmaderivati: implicazioni etiche della donazione e per il donatore [proceedings]. Blood transfusion 2012;10(1 Suppl):s39-s40.
  54. Petrini C. Kidney allocation for transplantation: some aspects of ethics and comparative law. Transplantation proceedings 2012;44(7):1812–1814.
  55. Petrini C. Cord blood banking: regulations, ethics and practice in a disputed Italian case. Clinica terapeutica 2012;163(1):e21-e22.
  56. Petrini C, Farisco M. Medical responsibility and clinical guidelines: a few remarks from two Italian juridical cases. Medicine studies 2012;3(3):157-169.
  57. Petrini C. A bioethicist’s view of the use of biosimilars [letter]. Generics and biosimilars initiative journal 2012;1(3-4):110-111.
  58. Petrini C. Ethical and legal considerations regarding the ownership and commercial use of human biological materials and their derivatives. Journal of blood medicine 2012;2012(3):87-96.
  59. Petrini C. Ethical aspects of informed consent for the collection, preservation and use of cells and tissues in biological banks for research purposes. Revista de derecho y genoma humano 2012;36:173-205.
  60. Petrini C. Banques de sang cordonal en Europe: législation et implications éthiques. Revue générale de droit médical 2011;(40):171-195.
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