||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
|Marino in 2012|
|64th Mayor of Rome|
12 June 2013
|Preceded by||Gianni Alemanno|
March 10, 1955 |
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore|
As a surgeon, he trained with Thomas Starzl, who had pioneered liver transplantion in humans. In 1992–1993, as a member of Starzl's team at the University of Pittsburgh in America, he helped conduct two baboon-to-human liver transplants. He was instrumental in setting up the ISMETT liver transplant centre in Palermo, Sicily, which was founded in 1997. In 2001 he performed the first organ transplant in Italy for a person with HIV. In America he has held chairs as Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Early life and education
Marino was born in Genoa to a Sicilian father and is the eldest of three children (he has two sisters). He graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome. He then trained at the Transplant Center of the University of Cambridge and the University of Pittsburgh's Starzl Transplantation Institute, under the guidance of Thomas Starzl, the pioneer surgeon who performed the first liver transplant in humans in 1963.
In 1992 he was appointed Associate Director of the National Liver Transplant Center of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Pittsburgh, the only organ transplant department of the Government of the United States. He was a member of the surgical team which in June 1992 and January 1993 performed two baboon-to-human liver xenotransplants in a clinical trial coordinated by Starzl.[n 1]
He was instrumental in setting up Palermo's ISMETT (Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies), the first liver transplant centre in Sicily, founded in 1997 thanks to a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Italian Government. He has been a Director and CEO of the institute.
In 2001 he performed the first organ transplant in Italy on a person with HIV undergoing highly active antiretroviral therapy—a kidney transplant made in response to a personal request from the patient himself (along with the donor, his father), who had been turned down by other Italian transplant centres. A clinical success, the operation sparked an institutional dispute in Italy at the time.[n 2]
Marino has personally performed over 650 transplants. He is a byline author of over 170 peer-review articles and has authored three scientific books. In 2005 he published a book with Einaudi ("Le Vele" series) entitled Credere e curare ("Treating and Believing"); the book deals with the medical profession and the influence that faith, seen as a religious creed but also as compassion, solidarity and empathy towards all human beings, has upon it. In 2005 he founded Imagine ONLUS, an international non-profit organisation engaged in international solidarity activities with special regard to health issues. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of Transplantation, Liver Transplantation, Clinical Transplantation and 9 other international scientific journals.
Entry into politics
A good friend of Massimo D'Alema, Marino was persuaded by him to enter into politics as an independent candidate with the Democrats of the Left in the 2006 general elections, and was elected as a Senator; he has been the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Health since 6 June 2006.
Following the fall of Romano Prodi's government and an early election held in 2008, he was confirmed in the Senate, where he was appointed whip of the Democratic Party in the Standing Committee on Health and Chair of the Investigative Committee on the National Health Care System. In his second tenure as a Senator, Marino gained public exposure due to his strong support for right to die and a clear advance health care directive law during the dramatic final days of Eluana Englaro, which caused widespread debate and a constitutional crisis within Italy. Following such events, Marino has become recognizable in Italian politics as a strong advocate of a lay country, gaining vocal support from left-wing parties and the Italian Radicals, but also being criticized by socially conservative politicians also within the Democratic Party, such as Paola Binetti.
In June 2009 he publicly announced his intention to run as a candidate for the Democratic Party leadership election in October. His leadership election platform was mostly focused on social rights, public health and environmentalism. He came third in the election, winning 12.5% of the votes.
Mayor of Rome
Marino ran the 2013 election for Mayor of Rome with the support of a centre-left alliance. After leading in the first round he was elected (on 10 June) Mayor of Rome at the second ballot, winning 63.9% of the votes in a run-off against the centre-right candidate, the outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno.
Among Marino's projects has been the controversial opening of the Via dei Fori Imperiali to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Mayor Marino cited his experiences as a cyclist in Philadelphia as the foundation for his having learned to live without a car.
Shortly after his victory in the elections he was approached by an organised crime network which rigged public contracts and embezzled funds. Marino took the case to prosecutors, starting the 2014 Rome corruption scandal.
Notes and references
- Although partially successful on purely technical grounds, this novel approach to the treatment of terminal cirrhosis from chronic hepatitis B infection turned out to be a clinical dead end. These were the first xenotransplants (i.e. animal-to-human organ transplants) to be performed since the case of Baby Fae (a 2.2 kg newborn infant who had survived just 21 days after receiving a baboon heart in 1984). Despite their different size, baboons share many of the physiological and genetic characteristics of human beings, but are resistant to chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Both transplanted patients had terminal liver failure due to hepatitis B. One, an HIV-positive 35-year-old man, lived 70 days after the transplant and maintained nearly normal liver function, the other, a 62-year-old man, survived 26 days without regaining consciousness. This clinical strategy was not pursued. In addition to clinical problems, such as organ rejection, there exists a threat of possible cross-species transmission of disease, as well as other bioethical/animalist concerns. At the time, these two xenotransplants provoked heated controversy in this regard.
- The Minister of Health, Girolamo Sirchia, publicly criticized Marino for undertaking the operation, and the National Transplant Centre (CNT) advised him not to perform any further transplants on people with HIV. This stance conflicted with the opinion of the president of the bioethics panel of the National Research Council who openly supported Marino's decision, as well as with views expressed by (among others) the president of the National Bioethics Committee, Giovanni Berlinguer, who argued that people with HIV should not be excluded a priori from the benefits of transplantation. Nowadays, similar transplants are routinely conducted both in Italy and elsewhere.
- "When Does Life Begin? Cardinal Martini Replies". L'Espresso. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "Senatori Eletti (Italia ed Estero)" (PDF). Elenco alfabetico degli eletti nella XVII legislatura. Senato della Repubblica. 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Starzl, TE; Murase, N; Tzakis, A; Fung, JJ; Todo, S; Demetris, AJ; Manez, R; Marino, IR; Valdivia, L (August 1994). "Clinical xenotransplantation.". Xenotransplantation 1 (1): 3–7. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3089.1994.tb00044.x. PMC 3000172. PMID 21151801.
- "Primo trapianto in Italia a un sieropositivo". La Repubblica (in Italian). 28 August 2001. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Criscenti, Gianfranco (6 October 2001). "L'Hiv esclude il trapianto?". Galileo - giornale di scienza (in Italian). Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Bossini, N; Sandrini, S; Valerio, F (July–August 2012). "[Kidney transplant in patients with HIV infection]". Giornale italiano di nefrologia: organo ufficiale della Societa italiana di nefrologia (in Italian and with English abstract) 29 (4): 404–17. PMID 22843153.
- Norman, SP; Kommareddi, M; Kaul, DR (July–September 2012). "Update on kidney transplantation in HIV-infected recipients". AIDS reviews 14 (3): 195–207. PMID 22833063.
- "Election setback for Grillo protest party in Italy". BBC News. 28 May 2013.
- "Elezioni Comunali 2013, Liste e risultati: Roma". La Repubblica. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
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