The Rockefeller Foundation and Networks of Excellence in Italian Biomedical Research: the Role of Giuseppe Levi

Giuliana Gemelli


The essay analyses the role of the Rockefeller Foundation in promoting biomedical research in Italy between 1920s and 1960s, by focusing on Giuseppe Levi as mentor and pioneer in developing networks of excellence, which became the core of the process of institutionalization of leading laboratories and research centers after World war II. With the help of statistical analysis based on the elaboration of the original documentation of the Rockefeller Archive Center, the essay demonstrates that Italian biomedical research acted as a central periphery in the policies of dissemination of excellence animate by the American Foundation. The policy of generating fellowships for Italian scholars whose mentor was Giuseppe Levi during the interwar period proved to be crucial in accelerating the emergence of consolidated network of excellence despite the adversity of the political regime.


Key words: Rockefeller Foundation - Biomedical research - Italy - Giuseppe Levi

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