Pietro Calissano obtained a degree in Medicine in 1964 at the University of Genoa. In 1965 Rita Levi-Montalcini offers him a scholarship at the Center for Neurobiology. Under the scientific guidance and then as a collaborator of Levi-Montalcini, most of his experimental work concentrates on nerve growth factor (NGF) and other neurobiological aspects. Together with Prof. Antonino Cattaneo, he assists Levi-Montalcini in the creation and organization of the European Brain Research Institutue (EBRI).

In addition to his directorship at the Institute of Neurobiology (CNR) in Rome, where a large part of his experimental work was conducted, he has spent several long-term stages in numerous universities, such as Washington University (2 years), Harvard Medical School (1 year), University of California at Los Angeles, UCLA (6 months), Institute of Animal Physiology in Cambridge, England (6 months), Weizman Institute (3 months).

His work has been published in 145 international journals and has been Invited speaker at 65 international Conferences.

He has published numerous articles in magazines and newspapers (La Stampa, La Repubblica, Sole 24 ore) 2 books of scientific interest entitled: 

  • Neuroni, Mente ed Evoluzione (1993) Garzanti Publishing House;
  • Mente/Cervello (2003) Melangolo Publishing House.

Calissano has coordinated and directed numerous works for the Encyclopedia Treccani Institute where he was a member of the Scientific Council for 10 years.

Former positions:

  • Director of the Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine (CNR);
  • Full Professor of Neurophysiology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.

Memberships and Awards

  • Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO);
  • Member of the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL (at present acting Secretary);
  • Recipient of the Feltrinelli Award;
  • Recipient of the Accademia delle Scienze detta dei XL Award;
  • Recipient of the Neuburgh Prize.