He has dedicated his life to children suffering from
Schilirò, university professor, illustrious and worldly known
pediatrician, was born in Bronte in 1936.
He studied at the Real Capizzi College where he obtained his
school-leaving certificate getting afterwards his honorary degree of
surgeon at Catania’s university.
He continued his formation abroad, working and studying for a long
time at the Genetic department of the Columbia University at New York
Back in Sicily he started a prestigious career of
brought him very soon to become Director of university department of
pediatrics in Catania and director of the centre of regional
reference of Hematology and pediatric oncology of Catania’s
university, that, under his guidance ha become a centre of very high
In August 2003, for the first time in Sicily, in the centre direct by
Gino Schilirò, was performed the first transplant of umbilical cordon
on a young girl affected by a grave case of leukemia.
The same centre, in 2005 was included in the “special project” devised
by AIRC - that sees the best of Italian pediatric oncology committed
in the great challenge to defeat for ever the children’s
pediatric tumors – with a particularly demanding task: “to study in depth
children’s leukemia above all for what regards the gene “MLL” that is
responsible of it, evaluating the results of treatments and directing
the results obtained by all others research
Schilirò is also part of the study group Health
World Organization for ‘hemoglobinopaty’;
of the Project «controlled Therapeutic experimentations in
children’s tumors» of the national council of research;
National president of the Italian association of
pediatric oncology (AIEOP).
At the present is a consultant to the superior Health Council, a
component of the Regional Oncology Commission, referee for
accrediting courses of continues education in Medicine.
Has been also asked to be part of prestigious National and
International Scientific Societies: Italian Society of Pediatric
deceases, Italian Society of Human Genetics, Italian Society of Hematology and Pediatric
Oncology, Study Group for
Erythrocytes, American Federation for Clinical Research-International Association of Human Biologists, New York Academy of Sciences, European Society for Pediatric Hematology and Immunology.
His demanding charity work and scientific research, the
abnegation and the humanitarian spirit that he shows with the
unwell children and their parents, have also had due and ample
Were conferred to him:
the ”Premium XXIV Casali” for Pediatric disorders
– Bronte 1988,
with the following caption: “For the in depth study in the hematological field with particular regard to children’s
leukemia where have been reported flattering results of clinic
the “Premium Andrea Creati” for Pediatric Oncology (Giarre).
the “Premium city of Mascalucia” for Pediatric Oncology;
the title of Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary
The city of Lentini in 1999 conferred to
him the Honorary Citizenship «for the high humanitarian
scientific contribute given to research and to the battle
against children’s tumors and for having represented a
touchable presence in their suffering».
His researches concerning arguments of
immunology and pediatric
oncology have appeared in several
international and authoritative magazines (Nature, Cell, Proc.
Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, The Lancet, Blood, New Engl. J. Of
In the field of scientific research, professor Gino Schilirò has
identified two new hemoglobin of which, in
honor of our city
has called Hemoglobin Bronte (Hemoglobin vol. 27 n° 3 page.
149, 2003) and an enzymatic variant that he called Glo-Sicily (Amer
J. Hum. Genet. Vol. 35 page. 1042, 1983)
The Hemoglobin Bronte
Gino Schilirò has identified two
new hemoglobin of which, in honour of our city has called Hemoglobin Bronte (Hemoglobin vol. 27 n° 3 page. 149,
2003) and an enzymatic variant that he called Glo-Sicily (Amer
J. Hum. Genet. Vol. 35 page. 1042, 1983).
Photo on the left: Professor Schilirò in a paediatric ward with
Mons. Cristina, Catania’s archbishop. Right photo:
Premium XXIV Casali 1988,
Nunzio Meli hands over the premium for pediatrics to professor
«For in-depth studies in
particular regard to children’s
leukemia where has achieved
alluring results with clinic recoveries».
Strongly motivated, in bringing forward a project of
hope for many children with tumors, Gino Schilirò is
also one of the founders of the Ibiscus
Association, an initiative started in 1986 to raise
funds for the realization of a day hospital and of a
house-hotel for the parents of the children subject to
The Association (League for the research and treatment
of the child’s leukemia and tumors) collaborates with
the public structure to alleviate the young patients
suffering, improve their life’s conditions and clinic
approach and grant immediate answers, things that the
public health system is not capable of doing.
A benevolent health institute strongly wanted by Gino
Schilirò director of the ward that receives many
children afflicted by tumors, coming from all of Italy.
After nearly twenty years, “Ibiscus” has reached
important results: has created wards equipped with room
service in comfortably furnished single rooms planned to
alleviate the psycho-functional state of the young
patients, with teachers, play ground, day nursery.
In 2004, thanks to the people help, has started to build
alongside the Polyclinic a reception house to hearten
the stay of the parents of Sicilian children afflicted
by leukemia and tumors.
The “Ibiscus House”, wanted by professor Schilirò, who
has been fighting for twenty years against the
bureaucratic dullness and the
indifference of some
institutions, together with parents, doctors and nurses
tired of having to say “it isn’t my fault”,
in April 2006.
ten years of fighting for a dream that seemed utopian –
professor Schilirò said – is born the “Ibiscus House”
for the parents of the sick young patients.
The nicest goal is to see so many children, now grown
up, who have won the most difficult battle of their
life, but even more we feel amongst us the children who
lost their battle.
Hibiscus has contributed decisively
for the generosity of so many people, even the humble
ones to whom go our thanks and the invite to ascertain
as their support has been used. They can say with pride
“I also have done this”.»
Three Ministers of Health said:
"The Catania's Center of Oncology, Hematology and Pediatric is certainly one of the excellences that operate in Italy"
(Prof. Elio Guzzanti)
"I saw a beautiful page of Health: Thanks to good research, good training and a fruitful relationship between the institutions and volunteering"
(Mrs Rosy Bindi)
"If Italy decides to invest creating centers of excellence where to focus its scientific talent, strengthen the better schools and organize research and referral service (of 3rd level)", getting back the many great Italians who work abroad, and putting them in partnerships with private companies, I think we would have here, with Schilirò, a nucleus in which to invest"
(Prof. Girolamo Sirchia)