A Portrait of Ilaria Capua: A Powerful Voice

Italy is, to date, the country the most effected by the Covid-19. Eminent figures from the scientific world are making a strong contribution to the understanding of this world emergency, sharing their knowledge and spreading information. Ilaria Capua is one of them.

Italy is, to date, the country the most effected by the Covid-19. Eminent figures from the scientific world are making a strong contribution to the understanding of this world emergency, sharing their knowledge and spreading information. Ilaria Capua is one of them.


A former member of Italian Parliament, Dr. Ilaria Capua, PhD, is a professor and director of the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida. She is known the world over for her groundbreaking research into viruses such as avian flu. In 2016 she was asked to run for election by Mario Monti, the former EU Commissioner who was serving as Italian Prime Minister at the time. Dr. Capua ironically describes herself as a PMO — a “politically modified organism.” As a scientist who has been enriched by exposure to the political arena, she now has a broader grasp of the complexity of the science/policy interface.

Before joining the Italian parliament, Dr. Capua was the director of the department of comparative biomedical sciences at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Legnaro, in Padova, Italy.

In 2019 Capua has wrote the book Circular Health: Empowering the One Health Revolution, published in Italian with an English translation due out this summer. It focuses on the need to “rethink pathways, and suggest new and revolutionary ones to achieve a better balance with animals, plants as well as the environment that welcomes us every day.” These themes are as relevant as ever given that the SARS-CoV-2 virus behind the Covid-19 disease seems to have emerged from an “interspecies leap” caused by our exploitative and disrespectful manipulation of wild fauna and flora. Capua points out the importance of ecology and sustainability in facing a crisis such as the one we’re currently in.

 

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