Research interests: Traumatic brain injuries, Ebola, Intensive care, Infectious diseases, Rheumatic heart disease, Antimicrobial resistance
Dr. Portella obtained the Degree in Medicine and Surgery at University of Genova in 1990 and four years after she specialized in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. She worked in the Hospital S. Gerardo dei Tintori, Monza, where she focused on neurosurgery and neurointensive care, especially on traumatic brain injuries. She was also awarded a research fellowship for neurosurgery at the Medical College of Virginia, Commonwealth University. In 2005, she began to work with Emergency NGO as an anaesthetist, and later as a medical coordinator, in Surgical Centres for war victims in Afghanistan. One of her leading contribution was to the Emergency Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery, where she served for seven year as a medical coordinator and senior anaesthetist, setting up the basis of the training programme for young Sudanese doctors. In 2014, after the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone, she coordinated and worked in the Emergency Ebola treatment centre in Goderich. Currently, she is the Medical Division Coordinator at EMERGENCY NGO, providing medical oversight for all Emergency projects set in many countries. In the last year, she also coordinated the outbreak response group in the intensive care department of the COVID-19 Treatment Centre in Bergamo. In her carrier, she published research papers on various topics, ranging from traumatic brain injuries to infectious diseases. As per her experience, she is highly interested in studying the incidence and characteristics of multi-resistant germs in Africa. EMERGENCY NGO is currently researching this topic in close collaboration with INMI Spallanzani.