Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, we have been hanging on the words of virologists. The most well-known among them today is Christian Drosten, head of virology at the Charité hospital in Berlin.

In Italy, this role is held by a woman: Ilaria Capua is the virologist who explains the coronavirus to Italians. The native Roman is almost seen daily on Italian television and elsewhere. Her knowledge in the field of virology is enormous, as is her clarity. What sets her apart is her honesty. She often says, “We don’t know that yet.” This is according to Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG.

In the late 1990s, Capua took over the leadership of a small institute in Padua. Her breakthrough came in 2006 when she decoded the genetic “code” of the African strain of H5N1 – the bird flu virus. It was at the right time because the virus had just begun to spread to humans. The bird flu virus at that time had a high mortality rate of 50 percent.

The World Health Organization demanded that the Italian virologist deposit all her findings in an internal database. She resisted this and risked her career. A very intriguing career path.

herVIEW - Natascha Hoffner

Posted by Natascha Hoffner, Founder & CEO of herCAREER, WiWo columnist, LinkedIn TOP Voice 2020, W&V 2019 – 100 Köpfe
published on LinkedIn on 04.2021