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Debora Rizzuto

Assistant professor

About me

I am an epidemiologist with statistical background and more than ten years’ experience in aging research. Currently, I am Docent in Geriatric Epidemiology with a position as Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences, and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet (KI).

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: https://www.near-aging.se/ 

 

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 initiated a new collaboration with colleagues from IMM, KI to explore whether not only social but also physical environment may contribute to morbidity and mortality in older ages.

 

Teaching portfolio

Over the last years I have taught both at national and international level. Internationally, one of my long-standing activity is the organization of and teaching at the Summer School on Modern Methods in Biostatistics and Epidemiology in Treviso, Italy, which is a collaborative initiative between KI and Harvard University. In Sweden, I have acted either as main instructor or as assistant in courses on epidemiology of aging, biostatistics, and statistical software for undergraduate, master, and doctoral students for over 200 hours.  

Since 2013 I have successfully supervised (main supervisor) four master students, five guest researchers, and one postdoc fellow. Currently I am the main supervisor of two PhD students, one postdoc fellow, and three guest researchers, and co-supervisor of one PhD student, and one master student.  

Education

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 2015−2020.

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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