Paolo Boffetta

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Paolo Boffetta
Born (1958-07-19) July 19, 1958 (age 56)
Turin, Italy
Residence New York, NY, USA
Nationality Italian
Fields Epidemiology
Institutions Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Alma mater University of Turin
Known for his research on cancer epidemiology

Paolo Boffetta (born July 19, 1958) is an Italian epidemiologist. He is doing research on cancer, where he contributed to the understanding of the role of alcohol and smoking in cancer development.


Boffetta was born in Turin, Italy, went to the Vittorio Alfieri High School in Turin, and studied medicine at the University of Turin and received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1982, after which he became a resident at the Second Division of Internal Medicine and Research Fellow and Research Assistant at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit of the University of Turin.

After some years, he moved to New York and worked as a Research Assistant at the Department of Statistics and Epidemiology of the American Cancer Society (1986–88). He became an Research Assistant at the Division of Epidemiology of the American Health Foundation in New York, in 1988 and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Division of Environmental Sciences and Post-Doctoral Associate at the Division of Health Policy and Management of Columbia University, School of Public Health in New York (1988–89), where he was awarded a M.P.H..

In 1990, he moved to Lyon, France, to join the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, first as Medical Officer until 1994 and later as Chief of the Unit of Environmental Cancer Epidemiology (1995–2003). During this time he was also Visiting Scientist at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, US National Cancer Institute, in Washington (1998/99), Foreign Adjunct Professor, at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Microbiology and Tumour Biology Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (2000–2006).[1]

In 2003, he moved on to the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, where he headed the Division of Clinical Epidemiology. He was awarded a Professorship for Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Heidelberg in the same year.

Only a year later Boffetta moved back to IARC, Lyon to become Group Head and the first Coordinator of the Genetics and Epidemiology Cluster[2] there.

Since 2001 he is Visiting Professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Italy and since 2002 Adjunct Professor, at the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University,[3] Nashville, USA. In 2009 he became Affiliate of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Canada and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.[4]

In 2009 he left IARC and joined the faculty of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY, as Professor[5] and Associate Director for Population Sciences of the Tisch Cancer Institute and Director of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology.

He was Vice President of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon during 2009-2013.[6]

Scientific merits[edit]

Boffetta's specific field of research is the study of environmental factors for cancer.[7] He always was very much interested in international collaboration why he was founding member and member of the executive committee of the several international research consortia, e.g. Interlymph – Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma consortium (2001–08), the ILCCO – Lung cancer consortium (2003-), the INHANCE – Head and neck cancer consortium (2004-) or more recently in 2006 the PANC4 – Pancreatic cancer consortium and the ESC3 – Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma consortium. Currently Boffetta is involved in several case-control studies of molecular epidemiology in different organs and countries around the world (among are: lung, head and neck, kidney and pancreatic cancer in Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the UK; head and neck cancer in Brazil, Argentina and Cuba; lymphoma in France, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Czech Republic). Cohort studies with his participation are running in Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Finland and Israel for lung cancer risk among asphalt workers; and in Iran for esophageal cancer. Other studies where he is the principal investigator are the retrospective mortality study and cohort study of alcohol-associated cancers in Western Siberia, Russia; the Case-only and case-control study of hepatocellular carcinoma within the International Liver Cancer Study (3 centers in Thailand, Egypt and Italy); or the Case-control study of esophageal cancer in high-risk populations (2 centers in Iran and India).

Paolo Boffetta is a Member of the Steering Committee of the Asia Cohort Consortium (ACC)[8] and was Chair of the Molecular Epidemiology Group (MEG) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2008–2009).[9]

He was heavily involved in teaching activities during all his academic and research positions; e.g., at IARC he held the post of Director, IARC Course Programme (2000–2003 and 2004–2009). Further one he was Director of the IARC Fellowship Programme (2004–2009) and a Member of the UICC Fellowship Committee (2000–2009).

Currently he is a Member of the editorial board of several scientific journals including Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Biomarkers, European Journal of Clinical Investigation, International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics, Annals of Oncology (associate editor), and the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health.

Paolo Boffetta has published more than 950 scientific articles and 80 book chapters as well as is editor of some 15 books and journal supplements and has authored several other non-English and non-scientific articles about smoking and drinking prevention.[10]


External links[edit]