Pietro (Pier) Alberto Bertazzi
Pier Bertazzi, MD, MPH began to work as a physician in internal medicine at the Milan University Hospital, Italy. Having the chance to address occupational health problems and to care for working patients, progressively extended his scientific and medical interest to the study of the environment in which people lived and worked. The summer school in epidemiology in Helsinki, Finland, a post-doctoral training at UNC, Chapel Hill, NC, and a visiting scientist position at NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH made it easier for him to introduce epidemiology in Italy as a privileged tool for the recognition and management of work-related health risks. The largest project he designed and conducted in this early period was the long-term study on the health consequences of exposure to dioxin after the Seveso accident. When new tools for the study of molecular mechanisms of exogenous risk factors became available he set up a molecular epidemiology lab where biologists, epidemiologists, statisticians, physicians and other scientists started working together. One major result was a US-Italy collaborative case-control “Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology-EAGLE study”. Environmental epigenetics was the most recent development of his work with studies focused on benzene, air pollution (PM, in particular) and metals. He has been temporary advisor to several international organizations (WHO, EU, ILO-BIT, IPCS). Starting in the mid-eighties, Pier Bertazzi has been professor at the Medical School of the State University of Milan where he has directed the Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health with joint appointments at the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine of the Milan Policlinico Main Hospital. He is presently continuing his research work as a no-charge consultant to the University and the Hospital and enjoys it very much.