Environmental Health Sciences
Environmental Health Sciences
Dr. Roberto Lucchini is a professor of environmental health sciences at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at FIU. He received his medical degree from the University of Brescia, Italy, in 1987. In 1991, he obtained his Certification of Specialization (Board Certification) in Occupational Medicine from the University of Parma, Italy. From 1992 to 2011 he served as a MD at the Occupational Health Clinic of the Spedali Civili of Brescia, Italy. Since 2003 Dr. Lucchini has served as Professor of Occupational Medicine at the University of Brescia.
From January 2012 to June 2020, he was the Director of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. Dr. Lucchini was also the Director of the World Trade Center Data Center at Mount Sinai and the Director of the NIOSH funded Education and Research Center for the States of New York and New Jersey. In these capacities, he coordinated the epidemiological health surveillance of the workers involved in the clean-up operations after 9/11. He also supervised the training and research programs within the ERC network, which includes Rutgers University, NYU, CUNY, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Lucchini was also director of the Selikoff Centers of Occupational Health, the largest center of Occupational Medicine in the USA.
He is conducting studies on the risk factors for covid-19 disease severity and mortality, including occupational and environmental exposure to airborne particulates and air pollution.
Dr. Lucchini’s research is focused on the health effects of neurotoxic chemicals and the biological mechanisms by which metals, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, particulate matter and other toxic chemicals can cause injury in the human nervous system, from neurodevelopment to neurodegeneration. He and his team have conducted studies in general populations as well as in occupational groups. With support from the Italian National funds, the European Union and NIEHS, they have assessed the effects of neurotoxic chemicals across the life span in populations that range in age from early childhood, through adult life to old age. They have also undertaken studies in patients with neurodegenerative diseases and the role of occupational and environmental determinants in aging. These studies are focused in the highly industrialized provinces of Brescia and Taranto and target the exposure to neurotoxic metals including manganese.
More recently Dr. Lucchini became involved with the research on the health effect among workers and responders who were exposed to chemicals and intense psychological trauma at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terroristic attack. He is studying the increased frequency of cancer, respiratory, mental health and neurological conditions through the use of fMRI and PET imaging techniques.
Dr. Lucchini has shared his expertise with a variety of national and international news outlets, including The Conversation. He wrote the piece 9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded.