Bracco Foundation Scholarship

The progettoDiventerò (Young People Project) is a long-term initiative headed by the Bracco Foundation to accompany youth in their journey towards professional development by promoting innovative training programs which further consolidate the link between academia and industry.

The Bracco Foundation is an institution whose roots lie in the legacy of values developed by the Bracco company over a period of 85 years of activity. One of its statutory aims is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life with innovative approaches and solutions. In connection with Bracco’s commitment to promote an ethic of responsibility, its focus on research and innovation, its attention to the individual, Bracco Foundation, in cooperation with the National Italian American Foundation is pleased to announce:

dedicated to study of


For individuals

  • having Italian citizenship resident in Italy or with lawful permanent residency in the U.S.A.;
  • having U.S.A. citizenship of Italian descent;
  • with a PhD/MD/MSc degree with expertise in endocrinology and/or nutrition;
  • being no older than 35 years on the application deadline.

The scholarship will consist of a 18 month long grant for of the total value of USD 100.000 (one hundred and thousand) gross of legally required deductions, aimed at supporting the applicant in his/her research program in the Thyroid Health Center of the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition of the Boston University School of Medicine.

The project will start on November 1, 2014 and will concern an aspect, connected with the aims of the Bracco Foundation, here stated: Iodine is a micronutrient that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid hormones regulate many important biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis and enzymatic activity, and are critical determinants of metabolic activity (Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, 2001; World Health Organization, WHO, 2007).

Inappropriate iodine intake causes iodine deficiency and serious disorders resulting from inadequate thyroid hormone production. This is why the elimination of iodine deficiency has been and still is a most important health and social goal, especially since recent clinical studies and meta-analyses of clinical studies have shown that iodine deficiency at critical stages during pregnancy and early childhood results in impaired development of the brain and consequently in impaired mental function (Bath et al, Lancet 2013; Bougma et al, Nutrients 2013; Menon et al, Thyroid 2011; Barbel et al, Thyroid 2009) . As a matter of fact, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide (Loewenthal L, BMJ 2013; Zimmermann MB, Nat Rev Endocrinol 2013; Mitka M, JAMA 2013).

Despite the worldwide availability of abundant clinical data, guidelines to prevent, control and monitor iodine deficiency are lacking.. Several organizations are deeply involved in local prevention programs, and several studies have indicated that a substantial portion of pregnant women are still iodine insufficient, both in developing and developed countries, U.S.A. and Italy included (Pearce et al, Thyroid 2004; Perrin et al, J Nutr 2010; Caldwell et al, Thyroid 2011; International Council For Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Newsletter 3 2010).

Since iodine deficiency is easy to prevent and monitor, the persistence of iodine deficiency among pregnant mothers and infants may be due to education programs that are not sufficiently effective and lack of awareness among healthcare professionals and mothers.

The applicant will develop and implement surveys to assess gaps in U.S. health providers’ knowledge regarding iodine nutrition in pregnancy.

CLICK HERE to apply today!

Deadline to Apply: September 30, 2014


The applications will be assessed by a Committee, whose decision will be final. Committee members are:

Prof. Lewis Braverman
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine
Prof. Elizabeth Pearce
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine
Dr. Alberto Spinazzi
Bracco Group/Bracco Foundation
Ms. Gabriella Mileti
Director of Programs, The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

The Committee will examine the applications and assign a score in each of the following categories:

  • Research doctorate, degree thesis and other qualifications
  • Degree mark and intermediate examination marks
  • Publications and aptitude for scientific research

The Committee will draw up a merit ranking based on the evaluation of qualifications and documents. Should the top ranking candidate not accept the scholarship, the scholarship will be assigned to candidate ranked second. Applicants are required to accept the full text of this announcement.