Italy's Sapienza University honours Anthony Fauci

Fauci joined Rome university via video link from Washington.

Rome's La Sapienza University has awarded an honorary doctorate to Anthony Fauci, the US infectious diseases expert and covid advisor to President Biden.

The recognition was given to the American immunologist for his "fundamental role" in the study of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.

La Sapienza said the honour was awarded "with particular regard to the first pioneering studies on HIV infections and the development of measures to contain transmission and effective therapies against AIDS."

Participating via video link from Washington, Fauci received the honorary doctorate in Advances in infectious diseases, microbiology, legal medicine and public health sciences during a ceremony hosted by the university on 13 January.

The event's opening address was given by Thomas D. Smitham, Chargé D'affaires at the US embassy to Italy and was followed by a speech from the university's rector Antonella Polimeni.

Highlighting Fauci's "strong and competent contribution in the fight against the covid pandemic", Polimeni said: "I would like to emphasise in particular the impact and contribution of Fauci at a global level," added the rector. "His clear and at the same time simple communication has made him one of the most listened to scientific voices not only by the public but also by political decision makers."

"I'm a second generation Italian-American", said Fauci, who delivered a keynote lecture entitled COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Remaining Challenge, telling the audience: "If my parents and grandparents were alive today, they would be proud to know that the country they came from has bestowed this honour on their son and grandson."

Fauci's grandparents immigrated to the US from Italy in the late 19th century. His paternal grandparents came from Sciacca, in the Agrigento province of Sicily. His maternal grandmother was from Naples and his maternal grandfather from Avellino.

Founded by Pope Boniface VIII in 1303, La Sapienza is the largest university in Europe and one of the oldest in the world.

The university recently made international headlines when Giorgio Parisi, a professor of Quantum Theories at La Sapienza, won the Nobel Physics Prize.

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Italy's Sapienza University honours Anthony Fauci

Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Roma RM, Italy