The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) is the reference scientific public body of the Italian Health Ministry and National Health Service. Its activities include research, control, training and advice in the interest of public health protection. Therefore, the main fields of primary prevention (food safety, environment and health, safety of chemical substances and products) do feature prominently among the ISS topics for activity.
The ISS conducts scientific research in a wide variety of fields, from cutting-edge molecular and genetic research to population-based studies of risk factors for disease and disability. The ISS serves as a major source of information relating to public health and biomedicine in Italy through online connections to national and international scientific databases and data banks. In addition the ISS plans, implements and evaluates training activities in a wide variety of areas, with courses designed to address the needs of the National Health Service.
Scientific priorities are based on those set forth in the National Health Plan, as well as on recommendations bu the European bodies; an important aspect is coping with emerging issues, that need novel knowledge inputs for risk management.