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Wistar President and CEO Dario Altieri, M.D., honored by Justinian Society of Philadelphia for Civic Engagement and Leadership

Dario C. Altieri, M.D., president and chief executive officer of The Wistar Institute will be honored by the Justinian Foundation and Society of Philadelphia for exemplifying the finest qualities of scholarship, civic leadership and integrity.

The Justinian Society, an organization of attorneys, judges and law students of Italian-ancestry who promote continuing education in law and uphold a positive image of Italian-Americans, will recognize the Wistar leader at their annual scholarship reception and luncheon Tuesday, Oct. 10 at the Union League in Philadelphia.

Wistar is the nation’s first independent life science research organization and a global leader in collaborative biomedical breakthroughs leading to the development of novel therapies and vaccines. Through its Hubert J.P. Shoemaker Education and Training Center, top Wistar faculty collaborate with industry experts to advance a well-trained, sustainable life science workforce with programs ranging from pre-apprenticeships through postdoctoral fellowships.

“Just as the Justinian Society has a long-standing history supporting the education of the next generation of legal scholars in our community, at Wistar, we recognize that it is in preparing a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline that today’s discoveries will lead to tomorrow’s cures,” said Dr. Altieri. “I am deeply honored to be recognized by this esteemed Italian-American society committed to advancing professional, academic, civic and cultural excellence here in Philadelphia for the greater good of our global community.”

As president of The Wistar Institute since 2015, Dr. Altieri’s extensive experience working alongside academic, federal, local government, pharma and key life science stakeholders has helped shape the culture of biotechnology in Philadelphia. Wistar now ranks among the nation’s top three drivers of innovation, research and tech transfer, and in the top percentiles for both innovation and research among leading academic and research-related institutions.

Born and educated in Milan, Italy, Dr. Altieri joins past Justinian Italian-American honorees Paul Tufano, general counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Ridge 1995–1999; Samuel A. Alito, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Antonin Scalia (deceased), former associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

A physician, cancer researcher and executive leader, Dr. Altieri initially joined Wistar in 2010 as the first chief scientific officer and director of its National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center following faculty appointments at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, California; Yale University and the University of Massachusetts. He was appointed chief executive in 2015, and continues to direct what is now the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center at The Wistar Institute. He also serves as the Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor in Wistar’s Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program.

“Cooperation, education and inclusion—three fundamental tenets of the Justinian Society—are as imperative in the life sciences sector as they are in the legal profession,” said Barbara A. Capozzi, president of the Justinian Foundation. “As we celebrate the next generation of legal and judiciary leaders through academic scholarships promoting the principles of good fellowship, maintaining honor and dignity of the legal profession, performing civic duties, administering justice and promoting the study of law, is our distinct privilege to recognize Dr. Altieri as an Italian-American leader to be emulated in our region – and beyond.”

Event details:
For tickets to the Oct. 10 Justinian Society of Philadelphia annual scholarship reception and luncheon at the Union League, contact Joanne Crane Tsucalas at


The Wistar Institute, the first independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, marshals the talents of an international team of outstanding scientists through a culture of biomedical collaboration and innovation. Wistar scientists are focused on solving some of the world’s most challenging and important problems in the field of cancer, infectious disease, and immunology. Wistar has been producing groundbreaking advances in world health for more than a century, consistent with its legacy of leadership in biomedical research and a track record of life-saving contributions in immunology and cell biology.

The Justinian Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1996. The charitable arm of The Justinian Society (1935), the Foundation’s sole purpose is to provide financial assistance to law students currently enrolled in an accredited law school in a program of study leading to a juris doctor degree. Scholarship candidates must be admitted to an accredited law school within a one hundred (100) mile radius of the City of Philadelphia and must be entering, at a minimum, their second year; or must meet the requirements for specific scholarships. All gifts are tax deductible. In addition to our general scholarships, our two named scholarships include the Jules Fiorvanti Scholarship which is granted to a student at LaSalle University interested in the study of law. The Richard F. Furia, Esquire Scholarship is granted to the winner of an essay contest with a focus on advocating against stereotyping and defamation.

The Justinian Society is a legal organization comprised of attorneys, judges and law students of Italian-ancestry. Founded in 1925, the Society is located in Philadelphia. The Justinian Society members are engaged in activities directed toward fostering a spirit of good fellowship, maintaining honor and dignity of the legal profession, performing civic duties, administering justice, and promoting the study of law. The Justinian Society promotes continuing education in law, supports the advancement of qualified and distinguished Justinians in public office, serves the Italian-American legal profession and the community, and strives to uphold a positive image and take action against negative stereotyping against Italian-Americans.

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