How to become good scientists: Prof. Mantovani’s suggestions

Alberto Mantovani, Scientific Director of Humanitas and Professor at Humanitas University, is the most cited Italian researcher throughout scientific literature.

mantovani1This is according to the “Top Italian Scientist” ranking, issued by Virtual Italian Academy, which periodically evaluates Italian scientists most able to influence research worldwide.  
Professor Mantovani has received the Milstein Award, and discovered, together with his team, how the PTX3 works as an oncosuppressor. During his career he has worked in England and US , but in Italy he has achieved his most important results, thanks to “institutions where you can perform high-quality research and organization like AIRC, Fondazione Cariplo and Telethon, that sustain research and independence of young scientists, rewarding merit”.

What are the rules to become good scientists?

“Work hard, in international contexts and with team spirit, and never forget that health is everybody’s right”, these are some of the suggestions that Prof. Mantovani has addressed to young students. Here they are in detail:

  • Follow your own passions: “It’s a rare privilege, that must be lived without restrictions. It means being ready to work hard, also in your spare time.”
  • Live in an international context: “Science has no national boundaries. It is extremely important to get used to study, write and work in English language, within a culturally lively and open context. From these premises Humanitas University was born”.
  • Be humble and collaborative: “I wouldn’ t have given any contribute, without interacting with colleagues all over the world and with my own team.”
  • Accept challenges: “Don’t be afraid of questioning current schemes. In England I developed a new, nonconformist project. This work set the basis for the “renaissance” of the concept of the inflammation-cancer connection”, impressing a positive impulse to the Professor’s career.
  • Learn from patients: “Always give correct messages and don’t create false expectations. Give hope is necessary, but true hope is made of rigorous clinical research, out of which only illusions exist.”
  • Share ideas and results: “One of the frontiers of science is sharing: ideas, data, results, but also means to protect health. Never forget that health is everybody’s right, also of the poorest.”

Professor Mantovani ends its letter wishing tomorrow’s scientists to find highly-qualified institutions able to help them grow and prosper as they merit.

Sources: La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.