Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Chair in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention



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Professor Elio Riboli is Chair in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at Imperial College London. He is also Founding Director of the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Unit, jointly established by Imperial College and the Institute for Cancer Research.

Professor Riboli has made an exceptional impact on the fields of epidemiology, cancer prevention and the fight against chronic illness. Before coming to Imperial, he worked at the International Agency for Research on Cancer of W.H.O. where he initiated ground-breaking research on the role of diet, nutrition and metabolic health in cancer causation and prevention. He designed and led the establishment of the largest international population cohort studies on nutrition and cancer, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) that recruited over half-a-million participants with rich phenotyping data and blood samples stored in the first dedicated large-scale population biobank.  After moving to Imperial College he continued to lead research on modifiable, lifestyle related, cancer risk factors, including metabolic syndrome components and inflammation. In recognition of his achievements in cancer epidemiology and public health Professor Riboli has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Alongside this work, he has made a significant impact on the College. He was appointed the first Director of the School of Public Health (SPH) in 2006 and under his leadership the SPH more than doubled its teaching and research output. In 2008, the School was ranked second-best and in 2014 equal first among UK academic institutions in Epidemiology and Public Health by the UK Government Research Assessment Exercise. He also cemented links between the Faculty of Medicine and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as the first Director of the Trust Public Health Programme. He led ground-breaking partnerships in Qatar where he co-led the development of the first population biobanks in the Middle East and, more recently, in Singapore where he is co-principal investigator of the HELIOS (Health for Life in Singapore) study.

In 2018, Professor Riboli was made an Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy in recognition of his work to promote British-Italian relations in science, university teaching and research. In 2021, he received the Imperial College Medal, awarded for meritorious or praiseworthy service to the College or for having otherwise enhanced its reputation, mission and objectives.

He has co-authored over 1,000 peer-reviewed publications, of which 700 are based on EPIC. He has contributed to over 100 book chapters and three books and serves on editorial boards of major journals on nutrition, cancer, epidemiology and medicine, as well as on national and international committees addressing health policy in relation to cancer epidemiology/prevention and nutrition. 

Professor Riboli holds an M.D. degree (1977, State University of Milan), a Master of Public Health (1980, Milan) and a Master of Science in Epidemiology (1982, Harvard University). Professor Riboli is a Registered Physician (General Medical Council, UK, 2005).



Ersoy Guller Z, Harewood RN, Weiderpass E, et al., 2023, Diet and lifestyle in relation to small intestinal cancer risk: findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)., Cancer Causes Control, Vol:34, Pages:927-937

Berndt SI, Vijai J, Benavente Y, et al., 2023, Correction: Distinct germline genetic susceptibility profiles identified for common non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes., Leukemia

King SD, Veliginti S, Brouwers MCGJ, et al., 2023, Genetic Susceptibility to Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Risk for Pancreatic Cancer: Mendelian Randomization., Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, Vol:32, Pages:1265-1269

Christakoudi S, Tsilidis K, Evangelou E, et al., 2023, Associations of obesity and body shape with erythrocyte and reticulocyte parameters in the UK Biobank cohort, Bmc Endocrine Disorders, Vol:23, ISSN:1472-6823, Pages:1-12

Riboli E, Beland FA, Lachenmeier DW, et al., 2023, Carcinogenicity of aspartame, methyleugenol, and isoeugenol., Lancet Oncol, Vol:24, Pages:848-850

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