About Us

Humanitas research mission and leadership

Our Research

  • Microsope
    Not-for-profit, academic and independent
  • Applying a translational, bench to bedside, approach
  • With a commitment in training top-level graduate and PhD students

More than 400 scientists work at Humanitas Research Hospital to understand the mechanisms involved in biological processes relevant to human health and diseases. In more than 30 laboratories, processes involved in normal and pathological immune responses, cancer development, neurological and cardiovascular disorders are investigated using advacend technological platforms and multidisciplinary approaches.

We believe that understanding mechanisms that underlie normal biological processes is essential to understand how the same mechanisms are altered in disease. Improving cures requires understanding these mechanisms. Our research is mainly supported by competitive grants assigned by national and international funding agencies. Research funds are also provided by the Italian Ministry of Health and by donations via the 5×1000 scheme from the Italian Ministry of Finances.

Humanitas provides laboratory space, high-tech infrastructures, computational platforms and support personnel enabling researchers to carry out research of the highest international standards. The results of our research are routinely published in top-tier scientific journals and several of our researchers are among the most-cited scientists in the world in their respective scientific disciplines. An International Scientific Advisory Board including world-renowned scientists is in charge of evaluating our scientific achievements.

Humanitas research community

The hearth of our research activity there is a community of research trainees, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. Their work is supervised by group leaders, principal investigators as well as staff scientists and technicians. Core technological units financed by Humanitas – including the Avanced Optical Microscopy facility, the Flow Citometry Facility, the Genomics Facility and the Metabolomic Facility – provide high-tech support to the researchers, allowing them to produce the best science.

Integrating basic and clinical research

Humanitas Research Hospital is committed to integrate basic, translational and clinical research, fostering strong collaborations between clinicians, physician scientists and wet-lab researchers. Such integration occurs in different areas, including diseases due to the malfunctioning of the immune system (such as autoimmune and inflammatory diseases), cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders.

Focus on post-graduate training

An essential part of our mission is to contribute to the education of a new generation of highly trained scientists. All our group leaders and principal investigators actively contribute to training activities. Admission to the PhD programs, that are built in collaboration with Humanitas University and conform to the highest international standards, is based on a competitive selection open to candidates from all over the world.

The PhD lab training scheme is mainly based on daily research work in the labs and is integrated with courses on different disciplines (such as imaging, statistics and scientific writing). Students are also exposed to seminars from outstanding international speakers that cover a large range of topics. Direct informal interactions with the speakers, including journal clubs on the topic of the seminars, are an integral part of the training.

Post-doctoral fellows are trained to acquire all necessary skills to move towards a career of independent investigators. This includes coaching activities related to lab management and supervision of PhD students.

Scientific Director

Alberto Mantovani, MD, is the Scientific Director of Humanitas Research Hospital, President and Founder of Humanitas Research Foundation and Emeritus Professor of Pathology at Humanitas University, in Milan.

He has contributed to the advancement of knowledge in the field of immunology, formulating new paradigms and identifying new molecules and functions. He is recognized among his peers as a forerunner and a founding father of the renaissance of the inflammation-cancer connection, as proven by the broad impact of his scientific achievements: as of October 2022, he has over 153,702 citations and an H-index of 181 (Scopus), making him one of the top six immunologists worldwide.

Scientific Advisory Board

Research fundings

Our research relies on external competitive funding from national and international research agencies and charities. Part of our running costs are covered by “Ricerca Corrente” (awarded to Italian Research Hospitals – IRCCS – by the Ministry of Health based on previous scientific productivity) and by all citizens devolving their 5×1000 to Humanitas Research Hospital and Humanitas Research Foundation.

  • European Commission
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Education, University and Research
  • Lombardy Region
  • Fondazione AIRC
  • Fondazione Cariplo
  • Fondazione Telethon
  • Fondazione Veronesi
  • 400+
    Basic researchers
  • 10.000
    Square meters of high-tech laboratories
  • 500+
    Clinical researchers