Research topics

Epidemiology of diseases associated with excess or deficiency of selenium 

  • Study of the effects on human health of selenium intake, through the follow-up of populations exposed to hexavalent inorganic selenium via water or the analysis of the behavior of biological indicators of exposure (serum and nails) in patients with different neoplastic diseases and control subjects, in collaboration with researchers of the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, epidemiologists Cancer Institute of Milan and the Boston University School of Medicine
  • Participation in the working group aimed at the realization of a Cochrane Systematic Review on the relationship between selenium intake and cancer risk.

 Epidemiology of childhood leukemia

  • Promotion of research on environmental risk factors in childhood leukemia and more generally of neoplastic diseases in children, with particular reference to the role of electromagnetic fields, the pollutants emitted from motor vehicle traffic and pesticides, in collaboration with public and private (ASEOP, Municipality of Reggio Emilia, UCLA, Childhood Leukemia International Consortium)

Epidemiology of diseases associated with exposure to cadmium and other trace elements

  • Study of possible etiologic role of trace elements of nutritional or toxicologically interest, with particular (cadmium, zinc and copper) against neoplastic diseases.

Nutritional epidemiology of melanoma

  •  Participation in the activity of collaboration in the epidemiology field among dermatologists and hygienists of University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, with particular reference to the study of the role of environmental, nutritional and genetic factors in cutaneous melanoma etiology.

Health impact assessment of urban solid waste incineration

  • Analysis of the epidemiological literature on the effects on human health of emissions from incinerators for urban solid waste and for hazardous-toxic and biological materials, and assessment of specific situations of potential environmental risk occurring in the territory of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Coordination of the program of health surveillance of the population Modena potentially exposed to emissions from the new incinerator for urban solid waste.

Epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Research on the epidemiology and etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by conducting case-control studies in the Emilia-Romagna region, in collaboration with the Regional SLA Register. In particular, examination of the possible role of exposure to toxic and essential trace elements, some of neurotropic viruses, diet and exposure to pesticides on the risk of this disease.


International scientific collaborations on public health topics:

  • Boston University - School of Public Health (Prof. Kenneth Rothman),
  • UCLA - School of Public Health (Prof. Leeka Kheifets and Prof. Catherine Crespi);
  • UC Berkeley - School of Public Health (Prof. Edward Wei);
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Medical School (Prof. Yoram Finkelstein);
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München, Laboratory for Trace Elements Speciation (Prof. Bernhard Michalke) and Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (Dr. Dorothea Alber);
  • Neuroepidemiology Center, University of Limoges and INSERM, Limoges, France (Prof. Pierre-Marie Preux);
  • Department of the Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Prof. Feiyue Wang);
  • Indian Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana (Dr. Rajinder Chawla);
  • State Key Lab of Environmental Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang (Dr. Baoshan Zheng).