History and Mission of ISG
The San Gallicano Institute (ISG) is a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalisation and Healthcare (IRCCS) in the field of dermatology and venereology. It pursues the aims set forth in Law No. 288/2003 of clinical and translational research with highly-specialised, top-level hospitalisation and health care.
San Gallicano, founded in 1725, in the historic location in Trastevere, was the first hospital in Europe dedicated to the treatment of skin and contagious diseases. The hospital's reputation and commitment to care grew rapidly, quickly becoming a point of reference, including outside the region, for skin and venereal pathologies. At a later date (1860), San Gallicano became home to the first Chair of Dermatology of La Sapienza University in Rome. At the end of the 1800s, the head physician Dr. Schilling published the first editions of Il Bollettino del San Gallicano, which is still published today, that included the most interesting clinical situations and the first epidemiological data especially in the field of venereology, now called STDs. In 1926, on the basis of emerging radiotherapy techniques (plesio-roengten therapy, phototherapy), a royal decree acknowledged the Institute as a national centre for the study and application of physical therapy in dermatology, under the general management of the Public Health Service (subsequently renamed the Ministry of Health), while still remaining within the regional hospital care network (United Hospitals of Rome-S. Spirito). In 1932 ISG and Istituto Regina Elena (IRE) were brought together under a single administrative organisation the “Hospital Physiotherapy Institutes” (IFO)” (Royal Decree No. 1296 of 4/8/1932). It has been part of the national IRCCS network since 1939 through consectutive reconfirmations. In the 1980s, the Institute acquired Experimental Laboratories with the aid of Lazio's regional authority, specifically Skin Physiopathology, Skin Histopathology, Microbiology and Porphyrias awarded to distinguished researchers such as Prof. G.C Topi, Dr. M. Nazzaro-Porro, Prof. L. Balus, Dr. F. Caprilli. The biomedical library boasts approximately 1,300 updated monographs and has approximately 60 journals in printed and digital format as well as a dedicated web portal. The historical San Gallicano Pharmacy is an important component of the Institute with specific experience in galenic medicines.
Since it was first acknowledged as an IRCSS, San Gallicano's main aim has been the centrality of the individual and healthcare and protection, and so it acknowledges as its mission the pursuit of training and research (mainly translational) goals in the biomedical and dermatological field.
During the last 50 years, Dermatology has acquired a direction that is increasingly focused on new acquisitions in the field of genetics, epidemiology and biomolecular studies, just as the work of specialists and researchers, which initially involved care, now also takes in translational research in the field of dermatology. The modern hospital is increasingly a high-tech, high-cost facility to be used with the maximum efficiency, and represents increasingly less frequently a protected healthcare environment providing general assistance which can also be provided at home or in non-hospital facilities at a low cost.
The Institute's organisational system is aimed at offering service quality and suitability through rational resource management at the basis of which there are: improvement of service quality, optimisation of human resources, consolidation of professional know-how and the ability to attract young researchers. In keeping with this vision, the Institute places major focus on ongoing information and communication throughout the territory by networking its own activities through setting-up of “Integrated Intercompany Networks”. Indeed, the integrated networks, especially the Melanoma Unit, have the goal of ensuring the best quality of care when providing services to nationals in various areas of the national health service, corporate and regional, guaranteeing equal access, operating and allocatory efficiency and overall effectiveness of results on health.
Institutional tasks of major importance include translational activities, didactics and training, also with the universities and other national and international institutions through specific conventions.
The most commonly treated pathologies concern 4 lines of Current Research, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's recommendations, specifically diagnosis and therapy of skin tumours (NMSC and melanomas), inflammatory and autoimmune dermatitis (psoriasis, acne, allergic dermatitis, vitiligo, professional dermatoses), sexually transmitted diseases and HIV-related dermopathies, dermosurgery and regenerative medicine. The Institute's organisation includes two clinical-experimental departments (Law No. 595/1985) (IFO Resolution No. 716/2000), respectively the Department of Clinical and Immuno-Allergological Dermatology and the Department of Oncological Dermatology.
The Institute features advanced management activities such as the “week hospital” which has allowed for rational distribution of hospital stay lengths and considerable financial savings, Level 2 Clinics and Melanoma, Psoriasis, Vitiligo and HPV units. As regards surgery (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Operating Unit) the sentinel lymph node technique has become routine in the study of spinocellular carcinomas and melanomas. Innovative diagnostic methods have recently been acquired such as telethermography, confocal microscopy and Artoscan-MRI. The Photodermatology Service can boast considerable technological resources which include respectively 2 solar simulators, excimer laser and UVB-NB. The Institute has recently acquired the Certificate of Conformity with Good Laboratory Practice Skin Physiopathology Laboratory and Metabolomic Centre, and BVQI certification for the Pharmacy, in addition to ISO 9001 Quality Certification.