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Young researcher at the IRB awarded with the "2018 Balli Prize"

(from L to R) Dr Greta Guarda, Prof. Claudio Marone, MD (Chairman of the Balli Foundation), Dr Camilla Jandus
(from L to R) Dr Greta Guarda, Prof. Claudio Marone, MD (Chairman of the Balli Foundation), Dr Camilla Jandus

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To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Dr. Ettore Balli Foundation - which since 1988 has been awarding grants to patients in need of medical care, scholarships to qualified doctors for training abroad, contributions to institutes of public interest for the purchase of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, and contributions to doctors working in the field of research - this year a competition was reopened for the awarding of the "Dr. Ettore Balli Prize" in favor of young researchers in the field of medicine and biology. The 2018 prize was awarded ex aequo to Dr Greta Guarda of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB, an institute affiliated to the University of Lugano) and Dr Camilla Jandus of the University of Lausanne, during a ceremony held on 10 September in Bellinzona.

The two awardees have in common the field of research, immunology and anticancer immunotherapy, a field of research in rapid evolution, which aims to define new strategies, which exploit the immune system for targeted and personalised treatments in the field of cancer, inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases. In this context, both researchers have carried out high quality and original activities, as underscored by the numerous awards, the quality of scientific publications and the financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Both awardees have the potential for a first-class academic career.

The Dr. Ettore Balli Foundation, which is registered in Bellinzona, was established in 1988 by the Locarno physician Dr. Fernando Balli. To date, the Foundation has paid a total of approximately 7.5 million Swiss francs in contributions: CHF 3.735.000 to the Ente Ospedialiero Cantonale (EOC) for the purchase of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment (the first magnetic resonance imaging of the San Giovanni Hospital in Bellinzona was donated by the Balli Foundation some twenty years ago); CHF 2.633.000 in research contributions; CHF 500.000 for the initial contribution to the establishment of the Research Institute in Biomedicine in Bellinzona (IRB); CHF 290.000 in the form of 40 scholarships to qualified doctors for training abroad; CHF 240.000 for the Dr. Ettore Balli Prize; and CHF 60.000 for contributions to patients in need of care in the field of nephrology.

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