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Debora Rizzuto

Assistant professor

About me

I am an epidemiologist with a strong background on quantitative methods and with more than ten years experience in aging research. I am currently working as Assistant Professor at the Aging Research Center, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences, and Society (NVS).

I am the Scientific Project Coordinator for the National E-Infrastructure for Aging Research (NEAR), which coordinates existing databases from the major population-based longitudinal studies on aging and health in Sweden. Our mission is to promote and facilitate aging research in Sweden, to increase national as well as international exchange and collaboration, and to enhance research quality and generalizability of research findings. For more information, please see: 


Research description

My research activity focuses on investigating the most relevant factors that lead to longer and healthier life. Using a life-course perspective she is exploring the role of health status, lifestyle factors, social environment, and genetic background on late-life health and survival. I am involved in several projects, both in close collaboration with doctoral students and senior scientists, as well as with colleagues from other universities (i.e. University of Brescia, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Univeristy of Kuopio). Recently I have started a collaboration with the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), KI to explore whether physical environment, including air pollution, transport-related noise, and green space availability influence the health of the elderly population.


Teaching portfolio

Over the last years I have taught either as main instructor or as assistant in courses on epidemiology, biostatistics, and statistical software for a variety of participants (undergraduate, postgraduate, clinicians, junior and more senior researchers) for over 170 hours (not including time devoted to planning, work carried out after the course). I dedicate to teaching about 10-20% of my time.

Subject areas competence: 1) Geriatric epidemiology with special focus on longevity and healthy aging; 2) biostatistics; 3) statistical software.

Current teaching activities: Since 2012 I am a faculty member of the Master Program in Public Health Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet. My lecture is on Determinants of longevity.

Since 2013 I am organizing and teaching in annually occasional courses on basic and advanced application of the statistical software Stata (one/two days course):

1) Applied Statistical Workshop: Data Management and Graphics;

2) Tables for Epidemiologist;

3) Basics of Stata.

The courses are given at ARC. 

Since 2015 I have been course coordinator and teacher for a one-week course in geriatric epidemiology for PhD students attending the Doctoral Program in Neuroscience and Doctoral program in Epidemiology at KI. The course is given at ARC. 



June 2003: MSc, Department of Statistics and Mathematics Applied to Economics and Management, University of Pisa, Italy. Thesis: “Logistic regression models for the evaluation of health care service”.

February 2013: PhD in Medical Science, Epidemiology, KI. Dissertation title: “Living Longer than Expected: Protective and Risk Factors of Human Longevity”. Supervisor: Prof L Fratiglioni. Co-supervisors: Prof R Bellocco, and Prof M Kivipelto.


Academic honours, awards and prizes

Major research grants received as main applicant:

1 280 000 SEK from Faculty funds for partial funding of new doctoral students (KID), KI, in 2010. 

1 600 000 SEK from Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, in 2015.

4 805 000 SEK from Swedish Research Council for Heath, Working Life and Welfare, in 2018

I have been the co-applicant in different projects that received in total more than 16 000 000 SEK mainly from Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare and the Swedish Research Council during the period 2015−2017.

As of July/August 2018, one of my studies received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Social Sciences (source: Web of Science)


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