The Gugliemo project
Guglielmo Dall’Ongaro, a native of Rome, was a young brave man who died in August 2015 at the age of 23, after a long fight against a genetic disease (a primary immunodeficiency) diagnosed too late. Early diagnosis would have saved him. He was also a student of music and a lute-maker. His death at such an early age because of an undiagnosed genetic disorder represents a strong message for young people and teaches them the need and usefulness of awareness of human/medical genetics for themselves and for their future progeny.
The meaning of the Guglielmo Project
In 2016 the School started a completely new experience aimed at the public understanding of genetics. One of the Faculty of the course in Medical Genetics, Dr. Mario Capecchi, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine in 2007, gave a talk on Genetics and Society to about 300 High School students on May 9 in Forlì (12 km away from Bertinoro). In addition a selected group of High Schools students (40 from Forlí, 7 from Cagliari, 12 from Verona, 2 from Genova and 3 from Tehran) with their respective science teachers were hosted in Bertinoro to attend the last lectures of the 29th COURSE IN MEDICAL GENETICS on Thursday May 12.
A moment of the concert played by the High School students of Verona during an intermission of the conference of Dr. Mario Capecchi at the Teatro Diego Fabbri in Forlì on May 9, 2016.
Capecchi is the second from right in the picture, while the image of Guglielmo (who holds the violin he is making) is projected on the screen.
On the same day the students of the European School of Genetics Medicine became the "instructors" of the High School students for debates, discussions and questions regarding medical genetic research and practice in the contemporary world (in particular concerning the prevention of genetic disorders). This first experience of public understanding of human/medical genetics was made possible by the resources offered by ESGM (faculty, venue, etc.). It was highly successful as a program regarding “Genetics and Society” specifically tailored for High School students thus starting what is now known as the “Guglielmo Project”.
The Guglielmo Project in 2017
On May 4 and 5, 2017, while the 30th edition of the main ESGM course was taking place in Bertinoro, plenary lectures and workshops were held again in Forlì.
The audience of Italian High School students and their science teachers attending the lecture given by Dr. Evan Eichler (Seattle, WA) on autism
The continuation of the Guglielmo Project in 2018
In 2018 the Guglielmo Project attracted more High Schools students from Forlì and other cities of the Emilia-Romagna Region. Dr. Evan Eichler (Seattle, WA) gave again a lecture on human evolution for High School students and their science teachers. A grant application to the EU along the lines developed during the past 3 years of the project is being prepared. High Schools and Genetic Centers from all over Europe are welcome to join this initiative. For further information please write to: email@example.com