National Centre for Disease prevention and health promotion

Director: Dr. Giovanni Capelli
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4010



The mission of the Centre includes:

  1. coordination and support of efforts for disease prevention and health promotion at national and international level
  2. research and test of effective methods for prevention and health promotion
  3. building of an integrated approach to prevention with multidisciplinary skills
  4. promotion of sustainable and evidence-based interventions and assess their impact

The Centre intends to acquire a national reference role for the development of health promotion and disease prevention and contribute to the activity of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in this area, carrying out translational activities between scientific evidence and public health policies, between the knowledge generated by research projects and the improvement of prevention programs and services. The activities of the Centre will be developed according to a life course approach that takes into account all stages of life (from before conception to old age) and by setting, in order to plan interventions in the places of life where it is possible to reach specific targets of the population. The Centre also promotes a cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach, with joint actions of various sectors, health and non-health, and a close alliance with the citizen, inspired by the principles of empowerment, oriented to the strengthening of personal and community resources to promote healthy choices.




The Centre includes three units and an operational centre:

  1. Unit of promotion and evaluation of chronic disease prevention policies
  2. Unit of Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health
  3. Unit of Risk factors surveillance and health promotion strategies
  4. Operational centre National Register of Medically Assisted Procreation


Promotion and evaluation of chronic disease prevention policies
Director: Dr. Nicola Vanacore 
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4243

It contributes to promoting and evaluating prevention policies and the adoption of integrated programs of chronic diseases, through participation in institutional tables, in research activities in public health; it also promotes the production and evaluation of scientific evidence. It makes use of multidisciplinary skills, ranging from clinical and psychological to epidemiological, economic and statistical.

Activities include:

  • implementation of the National Dementia Plan and the National Prevention Plan
  • management of the Dementia Observatory website and the dynamic online map of dedicated services
  • participation in European and international research projects on specific issues (European joint action ActOnDementia on dementia policies; European joint action IPAAC -Innovative Partnership on Action Against Cancer which provides tools to evaluate prevention interventions and plan resources to be allocated to oncology)
  • development of models and tools for the evaluation of therapeutic strategies and healthcare costs in the different phases of the disease (BD2DECIDE and EPICOST project)
  • research activities in public health within the programs of the Ministry of Health (CCM programs)
  • projects related to patients with ALS, pediatric ataxia, hydrocephalus, Parkinson's, cognitive disorders and dementia, with the aim of creating networks of professionals and pathology registries, to carry out research activities and to produce specific evidence for the respective pathologies
  • promotion and participation in studies for the development, adaptation and validation of tools and questionnaires for clinical and research activity
  • training and updating activities aimed at operators of the National Health Service (NHS)

Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health
Director: Dr. Serena Donati
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4318

It coordinates public health research activities in the obstetric, perinatal and child-adolescent fields, with the aim of ensuring a national observatory that, through surveillance and research activities, makes available to decision-makers, health professionals and citizens the knowledge and evidence useful for improving the quality of care for women's sexual and reproductive health and for the dissemination of interventions for the promotion of healthy lifestyles among the  children and adolescents.

The activities include:

  • development and management of population-based active surveillance systems
  • implementation and development of analysis of current health flows (death certificates, birth assistance certificates, hospital discharge cards)
  • carrying out epidemiological studies, population based, able to link the results of surveillance and research to policies and action, involving stakeholders
  • training for healthcare professionals, both residential and remote
  • implementation of evidence-based guidelines within the National Guidelines System (SNLG) of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS)

Risk factors surveillance and health promotion strategies
Director: Dr. Barbara De Mei
phone:(+39) 4990 4272

The main objective is to contribute to the identification and implementation of prevention and health promotion actions through the surveillance of risk factors, the production of evidence and the sharing, also in the context of international projects, of good practices useful for guiding public health policies, according to the principle of "health in all policies".

The activities include:
  • collaboration with the Ministry of Health through participation in working tables
  • agreements with the Regions for the development of prevention and health promotion programs
  • coordination of surveillance systems of behavioral risk factors related to health in the adult and elderly population (PASSI and PASSI d'Argento) and communication activities related to the results of these surveillances
  • coordination of national surveys and research projects and observational studies on the monitoring of interventions to combat health risk factors
  • creation and consolidation of networks with relevant stakeholders for prevention and health promotion: Rete Città Sane, Federfarma, Federanziani, Unicef, Save the Children, Protezione Civile
  • participation in European and international research projects for the experimentation of participatory communication approaches and for the deepening of specific themes, such as the monitoring and promotion of physical activity of the over-64s to counteract frailty and the reduction of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents (dissemination activities)
  • development and use of communication tools differentiated by target and communication objectives: reports, brochures and information posters, social networks, counselling
  • coordination of the Epicentro website, the Guadagnare salute (Gain health) website and the National Epidemiological Bulletin (BEN)
  • training to support the Regional Prevention Plan with the realization of university masters in health promotion and design and implementation of training modules in presence and at a distance on prevention and health promotion issues

Operational centre National Register of Medically Assisted Procreation
Director: Dr. Giulia Scaravelli
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4050-4306

The fundamental objective of the Register, funded by the Ministry of Health, is to outline the epidemiological framework of assisted reproduction in our country, providing a complete and exhaustive overview of all the activities carried out by medically assisted procreation centers (Procreazione Medicalmente Assistita, PMA) operating in the area.

Every year the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) provides the Minister of Health with a report that reports on the activity of the PMA centres, which allows to evaluate, from an epidemiological point of view, the safety and effectiveness of the techniques used and the interventions carried out.

The Register collects annually from all the Italian centers that apply assisted reproduction techniques anonymous and aggregated data on the treatment cycles carried out, on the therapeutic protocols used, on the complications, on the results obtained and on the follow-up of pregnancy and births. In addition, the Registry collects information on the cryopreservation cycles of female gametes, a technique that represents an important alternative for the treatment of infertility and an opportunity to preserve reproductive capacity in patients who need to undergo surgery or anticancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) or who have pathologies affecting the ovary or endometrium.

The Register promotes studies and research and is functionally linked with other European (EIM – European IVF Monitoring) and international (ICMART – International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies) Registries.

All data are collected at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità anonymously through the National Register of Medically Assisted Procreation

The Register connects the PMA centres with each other and with the institutions; represents a service for infertile couples, allowing them to make informed choices about centers and treatments; it is a tool for PMA centers through which to send annual data on the activity carried out and have access to the information of their competence; provides a service for the Regions, through which to access information on the centers operating in their territory to monitor data on activity.