EFI Medal Laureate 2021: Carlo Carcassi

Carlo Carcassi is Professor for Medical Genetics at the University of Cagliari. His career included a stay as visiting research fellow in Janet Lee’s lab at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Centre in New York and in Massimo Trucco’s lab at the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in Pittsburgh. I dare say that his scientific oeuvre shows definitively a slight bias towards immunogenetics, where he contributed to population genetics, the understanding of the gene organisation and the molecular structure of HLA extended haplotypes, and, more clinically, the study of immunogenetic factors influencing the outcome of organ, tissue and cell transplantation. His interest was, naturalmente, not restricted to HLA but involved many other polymorphic systems, including KIR. At a national expert level he acted for the Italian transplantation programme in his function as Director of the Sardinian Regional Government Reference Centre for organ, tissue and cell transplantation, the Sardinian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and the Regional Coordinator for organ, tissue and cell donation, extraction and transplantation.

Carlo Carcassi joined EFI already in 1991. Since then, he generously shared knowledge and expertise, contributed to the work of various committees and acted as councillor. He was also co-chairman together with Valeria Miotti (chair) and Antonio Amoroso (co-chair) of the 32nd European Immunogenetics and Histocompatibility Conference and the 25th Annual Meeting of the Italian Society for Immunogenetics and Transplantation Biology (AIBT) in Venice in 2018.

He joined the EFI accreditation program with his trainee inspection in 2004 and followed Francesca Poli as commissioner from Italy in 2007. He stayed for ten years and significantly shaped the accreditation programme.

Many years ago, the late Aad van Leeuwen invented the EFI medal. She once said that she had been motivated by the idea that there should be ’a nice way of saying thank you’ to commissioners. I am very happy that the EFI Board has chosen Carlo Carcassi as awardee for this medal and I want to join this ’thank you’ for many years of working together (and having fun) for common ideas in EFI.

Gottfried Fischer