Fondazione Menarini firmly believes that in order to identify innovative solutions, it is necessary to promote dialog and collaboration between experts and doctors at the international level.

It is for this reason that we have created Dialogs Beyond Borders!

Dialogs Beyond Borders is a collection of online interviews with major scientific opinion leaders and Nobel Prize laureates.

The interviews are informal conversations in which the interviewees reveal the challenges they overcame to achieve the professional milestones that earned them recognition in their chosen medical and scientific fields.

The project promotes scientific debate on health issues, and above all aims to inspire those who have chosen to pursue a career in science.

Listen to the experiences of the interviewees and be inspired!

Houston, Texas

PROF. Jeffrey A. Jones

Scott Department of Urology Baylor College of Medicine Jamail-Abramson Chair in Urology Research Adult Care and Services

Sierra Nevada Corporation, Sparks (USA) - President

Prof. Janet Kavandi

Dr. Janet Kavandi serves as President and Chief Science Officer for Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company that is building an end-to-end business and technology platform in space to benefit life on Earth.

European Space Agency Astronaut

Prof. Roberto Vittori

Vittori graduated from the Italian Air Force Academy in 1989 and trained in the United States. He flew the Tornado in the Italian Air Force before graduating in 1995 from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland where he was the first in his class.

London, United Kingdom

Prof. Semir Zeki

Semir Zeki is the Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London, U.K. He specializes in studying the primate visual brain and the neural correlates of affective states, such as the experience of love, desire and beauty that are generated by sensory inputs.

New York, NY, U.S.A.

Prof. Giapiero Palermo

Dr. Gianpiero D. Palermo is a Professor of Embryology in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Blavatnik Family Professor of Reproductive Medicine at The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College.

Newport Beach, California

Prof. Dipti Itchhaporia

Dipti Itchhaporia is the Eric & Sheila Samson Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Health, director of disease management for Hoag Heart and Vascular Institute and Associate Clinical Professor at University of California, Irvine. She is also Vice President Elect of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Co-Chair for the ACC‘s International Conference in the Middle East.

Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Head of the Earth System Physics Section, Trieste, Italy

Prof. Filippo Giorgi

Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Head of the Earth System Physics Section, Trieste, Italy

Faculty of Medicine - Université Paris-Saclay

Prof. Marc Humbert

President of the European Respiratory Society (2021/2022), Marc Humbert, MD, PhD, is Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Dean at the Université Paris-Saclay Faculty of Medicine in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences and The Department of Biological Chemistry

Prof. Hermona Soreq

Professor of Molecular Neuroscience The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences Department of Biological Chemistry The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram Jerusalem, Israel

University of Toronto Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Canada

Prof. Marla Sokolowski

University Professor Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Canada

Tel Aviv University, Israel

Prof. Marek Glezerman

Professor Emeritus Obstetrics and Gynecology and Head of Gender and Sex Conscious Medicine Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Tel Aviv University School of Medicine, Israel

Prof. Dov Feldberg

President, The Israeli Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology (ISRAPOG) Secretary of the Israel Society for Gender Medicine (ISRAGEM) Vice President and Treasurer of the International Society for Gender Medicine (IGM) Tel Aviv University School of Medicine, Israel

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004

Prof. Aaron Ciechanover

Distinguished University Professor Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Laureate, the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Member (Foreign), USA National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and Medicine (NAM), Israel

Northeastern University, Boston USA

Prof. Alessandro Vespignani

Director of the Network Science Institute and Sternberg Family Distinguished Professor

Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its efforts to highlight the implications of nuclear conflict for global health

Prof. Eric Chivian

As a Nobel laureate and a member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Professor Chivian highlights the implications of nuclear conflicts for global health in this interview. Underlining the "One Health" approach, he talks about preserving biodiversity and the relationship between the climate crisis and health problems. Are we under the threat of a future pandemic caused by the intensive exploitation of environmental resources by the human species? And what the relationship between science and politics should be?

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2005 Professor, The University of Western Australia

Prof. Barry Marshall.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2005 for discovering the role of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in peptic ulcers, Marshall talks about his early years, his passion for electronics, his family, and the path that led him to success in science. But he also leaves space for the many hurdles he had to overcome, starting with the skepticism of the scientific community when he decided to play “guinea pig” and experiment on himself the results of his studies. Now that microbiota is in the spotlight, many other discoveries will certainly come from gastroenterology.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 Kyoto University, Japan

Prof. Tasuko Honjo

Physician and immunologist, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2018. Immunotherapy based on his discovery has revolutionized the paradigm of oncological treatment. In this interview, Professor Honjo recalls his childhood in Japan, his first passion for astronomy, the years in the USA, and then his intuition to exploit the properties of the immune system against cancer. This paved the way for personalized medicine. But what is the role of serendipity in the discovery process? And what are the limits that science should never cross?

Cardiovascular Institute and Physician-in-Chief, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, USA

Prof. Valentin Fuster

Born in Barcelona in a family of doctors, Professor Fuster is an internationally renowned cardiologist. His discoveries have changed cardiology in the last decade. In this interview, he talks about his past as an established tennis player, his education by the Jesuits, his role as a personal physician to Pope John Paul II, and the relationship between faith and science. But his paramount interest is in young people: enjoy the story of when he became a character on the Muppets Show, called Valentìn Ruster, to promote prevention and healthy lifestyles!

Professor of Clinical Neurology, UCL Director, Dementia Research Centre, UK

Prof. Nick Fox

Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias seem to be on the rise: almost everyone has a loved one or a close friend with a diagnosis of dementia. Professor Fox, neurologist, describes the choice that led to the foundation of the Dementia Research Centre to help patients and their caregivers. Fox also emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis, and examines the therapies available today and their effectiveness. But to fight dementia it is important to know how to cross borders: we need a multidisciplinary approach and a strong collaboration between scientists from different countries.

Nobel Prize in Physics Professor 2018 University of Waterloo, Canada

Prof. Donna Strickland

When she was little she played with building blocks. Then in 2018 she won the Nobel Prize in Physics (the only woman after Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert-Mayer) in the field of pulsed lasers. In this interview she talks about the intuition and scientific path that led her to the discovery and its applications that today are used, for example, to cure presbyopia. But lasers are versatile and powerful tools, and many other applications are possible or on the way, not only in the medical field. So professor Strickland wonders what could happen if a discovery is used with malicious intentions.

Director, Medicine and Physiology of Hypoxia, Plateau Rosà, Italy/Switzerland Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience, University of Turin, Italy

Prof. Fabrizio Benedetti

A "fake" drug with the same effects as a real one: this is thanks to the so-called placebo effect, of which Professor Benedetti, a neuroscientist, is one of the leading experts. Here he explains how words and rituals can influence our health and what happens in the brain when we believe in therapies or, conversely, when we don't trust doctors. Perhaps the placebo effect is also the mechanism behind phenomena that have no scientific evidence, such as homeopathy or other complementary "medicines". But this means that the border between pharmacology and psychology is still to be explored.

Emerita Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins, USA

Prof. Marianne J. Legato

Cardiologist and world expert on sex-specific aspects of male and female health, Professor Legato brings to our attention the idea that so-called "gender medicine" must take into account the differences in both male and female physiology. Throughout her working life she has struggled to include women in clinical trials and to analyse data from a gender perspective. For this she points to the latest example of a male-centred approach: during the pandemic, Covid-19 drugs and vaccines have not been adequately tested on women.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1998 Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology, UCLA School of Medicine, USA

Prof. Louis J. Ignarro

Nobel laureate in 1998 in Medicine or Physiology and Scientific supervisor of the project Dialogs Beyond Borders, Professor Ignarro has Italian origins which he proudly claims. In his life he has courageously crossed several borders, always guided by a strong interest in science. In this interview he recalls his childhood, his passion for explosives and racing cars, and the intuition that led him to be nicknamed "the father of the blue pill", i.e. the discovery of the properties of Nitric Oxide, which opened the leads to several important applications in medicine.


Lorenzo Melani, past president of the Fondazione Menarini, welcomes you to the House of Sciences in Fiesole, set in the beautiful hills on the outskirts of Florence. In the new Auditorium specially designed for the sharing of scientific experiences, the Dialogs Beyond Borders project kicks off: the project is a virtual space hosting interviews with world renowned figures in the field of science with a view to inspiring future scientists.