IRFMN is a non-profit biomedical research organisation with major activities in drug research. It was established in Milan in 1961, and there are now also a research unit in Bergamo, Ranica near Bergamo. More than 400 researchers work at the IRFMN of Milan, which is the main site. The Institute’s main goal is to contribute to the defense of human health and life. The Institute’s research programs span from the molecular level to the whole human being. The Institute’s research is mainly concentrated in the fight against cancer, nervous system and mental illnesses, cardiovascular and kidney diseases, rare diseases, and the toxic effects of environmental contaminants. IRFMN, since it discovered the dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) in Seveso soil in 1976, devotes a great deal of effort to environmental and toxicity studies, in particular the areas of environmental research, ecotoxicological and toxicological studies. The Institute is in the lead of computational predictive toxicology, and other innovative laboratory tests have also been developed.
IRFMN is actively involved in studies related to health effects associated to the contamination levels, and it is IRCCS (Istituto di Ricerca e Cura a Carattere Scientifico), part of a network of IRCCS institute coordinated by the Health Ministry in Italy. One of the specific topic areas for IRFMN as IRCCS is indeed related to the health effects of pollution. IRFMN has been involved in this field since the Seveso accident, then the contamination of pesticides in Italy, ten years after, and then several other related projects. Within these projects, the toxicological expertise has produced innovative methodologies, also using in vitro and silico technologies. IRFMN is the leader of WP6, responsible for the characterization of the nanomaterial. It is also a partner in WP5, for the toxicological characterization, using several bioassays.