Stefano Vella, MD

Vella, Stefano 2012Stefano Vella, MD, received his degree in Medicine from the University of Rome in 1977. He subsequently achieved specialty degrees in both Infectious Diseases (1982) and Internal Medicine (1987).
After a postdoctoral experience at the University of Pennsylvania (1981-1982), he joined the medical staff at the Institute of Internal Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, where he developed an extensive experience in the clinical management of patients with infectious diseases and with HIV/AIDS, and started his research career, mainly devoted to the study of the pathogenesis and the therapy of viral infections.
In 1991, Dr Vella was appointed Research Director of HIV/AIDS at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), the Italian National Institute of Health. Since 2003, he is the Head of the Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation of the ISS. Over the last twenty years, his research group published extensively on various aspects of HIV  pathogenesis, treatment and prevention, both in the North and the South of the world.
His research interest is mainly directed towards: the study of HIV resistance to antiretroviral drugs; the mechanisms of immune reconstitution; the perfecting of antiretroviral therapy.
He chaired - or participated to - many international clinical studies on antiretroviral therapy: the DELTA study on combination antiretroviral therapy; the initial studies with HIV protease inhibitors; the INCAS study on the use of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors;  the ACTG 384, to compare as first-line treatments strategies based on 3-drug and 4-drug regimens and on protease inhibitors (PI) versus non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI); the ACTG 388,  to assess virological efficacy of different 3-drug and 4-drug regimens in patients with advanced HIV disease; the INITIO trial, a multinational randomised trial which evaluated different therapeutic pathways in previously untreated patients.
Dr Vella has also been involved in the building of consensus international documents on the clinical management of HIV infection. His participation to international panels include: the Italian National AIDS Committee (Italian Ministry of Health); the NIH Panel to Define Principles of Therapy of HIV infection; the IAS-USA panel on Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV infection; the ACTG Research Agenda Committee (RAC); the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board (PCB); the Scientific Advisory Group on HIV and Viral Diseases, and the Scientific Advice Working Party, EMEA, London; the ANRS scientific committee.
Dr Vella is currently the coordinator of the - European Commission funded - HIV Clinical Trials Network (NEAT) which includes 16 european countries.
Dr Vella, has been invited speaker in over 100 International Conferences, is an article reviewer for numerous journals, including Science, Lancet, Journal of Infectious Diseases, AIDS, Journal of AIDS, and has published more than 200 articles in international journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine
Since 1996, as Member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society [IAS] and subsequently as IAS President (2000-2002), he actively worked towards promoting access to treatment and care in the South of the World and moving the international AIDS conferences in the South of the World. He was instrumental for the organization of the conferences in Durban, South Africa (2000) and in Bangkok, Thailand (2004). He served as a member of Conference Organizing Committes of: the XII World AIDS Conference,  Geneva, 1998; the  XIII International Conference on AIDS, Durban, 2000; the 1st IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, Buenos Aires, 2001;  the  XIV International Conference on AIDS, Barcelona 2002; the 2nd IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, Paris, 2003.
During Dr Vella’s term of Presidency,  the International AIDS Society  became a major player in the battle to foster access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment in the South of the World.  In 2001, IAS was invited  to participate and actively contributed to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on AIDS   (UNGASS - New York, June 23-25, 2001) and Chaired the first  WHO/UNAIDS/IAS Consultative Meeting on Antiretroviral Therapy in  Resource Poor Settings (2000) and the  WHO/ISS/IAS International Consultation on Global Monitoring of Antiretroviral  Resistance (2000).
Dr Vella serve as scientific advisor for  the Italian Cooperation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in different African countries, and is involved in the setting of specific programs in Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia. He is the Scientific Coordinator of the Italian pillar of the ESTHER European Alliance. He has been a member of the Technical Review Panel (TRP) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), and he is currently a member of the Italian Constituency. He also participated, since the beginning, to the building of the EDCTP, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (HIV, TB and Malaria) and is currently the italian member of the EDCTP General Assembly.
Dr Vella is Vice President with Francoise Barrè Sinoussi, of the Scientific Council, ANRS (Agence Nationale e Recherche sur le Sida), Paris, France.
Dr Vella is Special Scientific Advisor to the UNAIDS and Chair of the 2013 WHO HIV TREATMENT GUIDELINES PANEL.