Professor Maria Grazia Spillantini received the honour of Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy (Ufficiale OSI), while Professor Antonio Guarino was made a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy (Cavaliere OSI). The honours were awarded on 1 March 2019 by Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta on behalf of the Italian president, in recognition of their contribution to strengthening British-Italian relations in the fields of science and economics.
Professor Spillantini is a lecturer in molecular neurology at the University of Cambridge, where she researches the mechanisms that cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia. She is also a member of the Royal Society, the American Society for Neuroscience and the British Alzheimer’s Society. She has published over 230 chapters and articles and was one of the top 30 most cited neurologists between 1997 and 2007. She was the winner of the Potamkin prize in 2000.
Professor Guarino is a lecturer in economics at University College London, as well as being an associate professor at the London School of Economics, and he has worked as a researcher at the International Monetary Fund. He has published financial and economic papers for major scientific journals and has received numerous research bursaries. He is the head of the Association of Italian Scientists in the UK (AISUK), a body whose objective is to create and maintain a network of UK-based Italian researchers, disseminate information and promote student and expert exchanges between the Italy and the UK.