President: Prof. Silvio Brusaferro

The President has the legal representation of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), promotes the development of its activities by ensuring their unified direction, and maintains relations with public and private, national and international institutions, administrations, public and private bodies, directly and indirectly engaged in the protection of public health.

He chairs the Board of Directors and the Scientific Committee and may, for reasons of urgency, adopt acts of competence of the Board of Directors.

The President also prepares the three-year plan of activities for the ISS, adopts the Institute Regulations approved by the Board of Directors, appoints the members of the independent evaluation body and the Ethics Committee and the heads of the departments and centers.

To carry out his duties, the President avails himself of offices directly identified and governed by a specific regulatory act.

Support structures for the Presidency

The President avails himself, pursuant to art. 4, paragraph 4 of the Articles of Association, of the following support structures:

 President's secretariat

The secretariat works directly under the President and facilitates the accomplishment of the duties of the president, providing for the coordination of the relative functions both internal and external of direct competence of the president. The secretariat is appointed by an ISS employee with the functions of head of the secretariat, identified by the President.

Scientific secretariat

The scientific secretariat has preliminary and support functions for the President in technical-scientific subjects, including liaison and information activities with technical-scientific structures. This secretariat is coordinated by the President himself.

Scientific communication unit

The Unit develops communication and dissemination policies for technical and scientific information; takes care of the enhancement and dissemination of ISS activities through: a scientific journal and other series of institutional publications; the ISS museum; the ISSalute portal; popular events; the PCTOs (Paths for transversal skills and orientation, ex school-work alternation) with schools.

The Unit meets information needs of different targets, from the scientific community and the general public through the development of tailored communication strategies, in close collaboration with the other structures of the Institute. It uses scientific evidence to promote knowledge through its own editorial activities and to contribute to health promotion programs by organizing events of interest to all stakeholders (researchers, decision makers, citizens, students, etc.). It collects and disseminates the institutional editorial production and develops training and research projects related to communication. In particular it is responsible for:

  • production and dissemination of scientific publications issued by the ISS: an international  science journal (Annali), different series of technical reports (Rapporti ISTISAN, ISTISAN Congressi), the ISS Newsletter (Notiziario), monographs on ISS historical-scientific heritage, reference tools for school and others
  • management of the digital archives of ISS scientific publications and photographic archives
  • planning and organization of scientific dissemination events and orientation activities for schools
  • development and participation in multidisciplinary research and training projects involving health communication
  • management of the ISSalute portal
  • management of the ISS Museum
  • graphic and multimedia production, video-photographic services and printing
Knowledge unit (Documentation, Library)

The Unit takes care of the selection, acquisition and diffusion of documents and databases necessary for the research activity. It provides access to over 20,000 full-text electronic journals, and supports researchers with specialized searches in the most important biomedical databases. It is reference centre for Medline in Italy. 

Training office

The office has programming, promotion and evaluation tasks for training and scientific dissemination activities.

External relations office and centre for international affairs

It carries out ISS representation activities at national and international institutions, universities, research bodies and institutes.

Press office

It is resposible for the dissemination of the ISS official information by liaising with the General Manager, pursuant to Article 8, paragraph 2, lett. j of the Articles of Association; takes care of institutional relationships with the media; monitors Italian and foreign information; takes care of the press review with reference to the Institute's activities.

Bioethics unit

The Bioethics Unit is a support structure for the Presidency, which:

  • deals with bioethical issues in research and institutional activities within the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) and in relations with external institutions, in order to preserve the integrity of research and to guarantee the ethics of research and experimental and public health interventions
  • provides support to the activities of the ISS Ethics Committee
  • represents the ISS in national, international and insitutitional committees on bioethical issues
  • participates in national and international research projects activities related to public health and biomedical research ethical issues
  • provides advice and opinions to the Presidency, the Directorate General, the Departments,  the ISS National and Reference Centers and to external institutions

The Bioethics Unit carries out institutional activities, consultancy, research, teaching and revision of scientific works through assignments and activities accomplished by any or all of its components. It participates in editorial committees, organizes scientific events and gives meetings and congress presentation on invitation. The Bioethics Unit has a vast production of scientific articles and texts, most of which in international scientific indexed journals with impact factor. The Bioethics Unit has institutional roles in the National Bioethics Committee, in the National Coordination Center of the Territorial Ethical Committees for Clinical Trials on Medicinal Products for Human Use and Medical Devices, in ministerial committees, in working groups of the Italian Higher Health Council, and in Ethics Committees of national and international institutions. It represents the ISS in parliamentary hearings, at the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, for issues with ethical relevance.