5 June 2020

Covid-19: UniMi Researchers and Professors awarded Cavalieri al Merito della Repubblica (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic)

A team of researchers from the University of Milan and Sacco Hospital, Professors Claudia Balotta and Gianguglielmo Zehender and researchers Arianna Gabrieli, Annalisa Bergna, Alessia Lai, Maciej Stanislaw Tarkowski, have been awarded by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella with the prestigious Cavaliere al merito della Repubblica (Order of Merit – Knighthood of the Italian Republic). The award was announced by the Italian President on 2 June, Republic Day in Italy, during his visit to Codogno, the town where the Italian COVID-19 outbreak began, as a recognition to citizens who, in various roles, distinguished themselves in serving the community during the coronavirus crisis.

The awarded team of researchers carried out pivotal research on coronavirus, with their work including the isolation of the Italian strain of the virus from the first COVID-19 patients in Codogno. Their studies, conducted between the end of February and the beginning of March, led to the identification the first three complete genomes of COVID-19 and the tracing of the first months of the epidemic with new hypotheses on the transmissibility of the virus.