Claudio Franceschi has been Professor emeritus at the University of Bologna in Italy since 2016. After his initial medical training, he devoted himself to the study of human immunology and has held numerous positions including scientific director of the Italian National Research Center for Aging, as well as founding and directing the “Luigi Galvani” Center for Integrated Studies of Bioinformatics, Biophysics and Biocomplexity at the University of Bologna.

Research, collaboration, distinctions

In the late 1980s, at a time when experiments tended to study mice more than humans, Claudio Franceschi was one of the first to become interested in the issue of aging in humans and went on to become one of the most renowned international experts in this area. In the 1990s, he published research on anomalies of cellular immunity and the presence of a state of chronic infammation (referred to as "inflammaging" by Prof. Franceschi). A completely new concept at the time, it is now studied under the title immunosenescence.

Since 2010, he has published a number of pioneering studies on human aging based on a cohort of centenarians and their offspring or spouses. Primarily, he noted that centenarians or those over a hundred years old are a model for successful aging without comorbid conditions (illnesses or disorders linked to age), which paved the way to understanding the mechanims of these comorbid conditions (cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular, metabolic and auto-immune disorders, etc.), which are so prevalent in today’s so-called “developed” societies. The variety of approaches he has employed, the quantity and quality of his often-pioneering work, and the insatiable curiosity that has pervaded his work throughout his career together have made him a significant contributor to this still mysterious field of knowledge.

> The DHC for Prof. Franceschi was proposed by Jean-François Moreau, Professor of immunology (ImmunoConcept, CNRS – University of Bordeaux).

> Video and photos of the ceremony (© La Ferrassie TV)

Updated on 04/06/2018