Riccardo Polosa

Full Professor of INTERNAL MEDICINE [MED/09]

Full Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Catania with specialist role as a Respiratory Physician, Clinical Immunologist, Allergist and Rheumatologist. He is Director of the Institute of Internal and Emergency Medicine at the main teaching hospital of the University of Catania where he coordinates a large staff of senior physicians, young residents, nurses and administrative clerks. He is also the Director of the School of Specialization in Rheumatology and the Founder and Director of the Center for Tobacco Research at the same University, where contracted research staff conducts high profile clinical and behavioural research.

The focus of his academic research has been historically centered upon the investigation of mechanisms of inflammation, biomarkers of disease activity, and novel drug target discovery in the area of respiratory medicine (asthma, COPD, rhinitis) and clinical immunology (allergic and autoimmune diseases). This has culminated with the participation of his research group in large EU funded pan-european research consortia (Unbiased BIOmarkers for the PREDiction of Respiratory Disease Outcome -U-BIOPRED; Airway Disease Predicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling – AIRPROM; Integral Rheumatology & Immunology Specialists Network – IRIS). Nonetheless, over the last 10 years, his main research interest has progressively shifted in the area of tobacco-related diseases, smoking prevention and cessation, tobacco harm reduction and e-vapour products. More specifically, he has been involved in the behavioural, clinical, physiological and toxicological evaluation of e-cigarettes for over 6 years. PI of the first RCT in the world about effectiveness and tolerability of e-cigarettes (the ECLAT study), he is the most prolific author in the field of e-cigarettes, according to a recent bibliometric research (H. Zyoud et al., BMC Public Health 2014, 14:667), He designed and conducted dozens of research studies, working with smoking cessation specialists, clinical psychologists, experienced vapers, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, chemists, toxicologists, and biologists from all over the world.

He published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, of which about 250 are full articles that appeared in scientific journals with large international dissemination (his Impact Factor is equal to 641.7, while Citation Index is equal to 6056, and the H index is equal to 40, according to Web of Science). 

N.B. the number of publications can affect the loading time of the information

Academic Year 2021/2022

Academic Year 2020/2021

Academic Year 2019/2020

Academic Year 2018/2019

Academic Year 2017/2018

Academic Year 2016/2017

Academic Year 2015/2016
  • Smoking cessation (disease-related outcomes, epidemiology, biomarkers and genetics)
  • Tobacco Harm Reduction and new alternative products to tobacco smoking (e-cigarettes)
  • Pathogenetic mechanisms of bronchial hyperreactivity and in particular on the role of a number of proinflammatory agonists such as adenosine, bradykinin, substance P, and neurokinin A
  • Pathogenetic mechanisms and treatment of asthma, COPD and rhinitis
  • Diagnostic role of adenosine bronchoprovocation in chronic airways diseases as a biomarker
  • Pathogenetic mechanisms of tissue remodelling and repair aimed at the evaluation of the role of growth factors and their receptors
  • Environmental related health issues including the rising incidence of allergic and respiratory diseases in relation to  urban air pollution
  • Significant risk factors for new onset asthma and for COPD progression
  • Immunomodulation and pharmacology prevention of new onset asthma: immunotherapy
  • New therapeutic modalities for chronic severe asthma


He acts as Scientific Advisor for LIAF (Italian Antismoking League), and serves as external member of the Italian Institute of Health (ISS) Technical Committee on monitoring electronic cigarettes. Already National Coordinator for the Italian Working Group on “Electronic cigarettes and e-liquids”, he has been recently elected Convenor for the Working Group on “Requirements and test methods for emissions of electronic cigarettes”, within the European Committee for Standardization (CEN/TC 437).

He is one of the editors of the Italian edition of Macleod’s Clinical Examination (Elsevier, 1964): “Macleod - Manuale di semeiotica e metodologia medica” Ferraccioli G.; Olivieri O.; Pirisi M.; Polosa R.; Silvestris F.  (Edra, 2014).

He has been serving in the role of Associate Editor the following scientific journals: Clinical Experimental Allergy, Pediatric Asthma Allergy and Immunology, Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Diseases, and Internal and Emergency Medicine. He also served as Head in the Respiratory WG of the European Respiratory Society and as Chair of the Asthma Diagnosis and Therapeutic Committee of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

He was invited as an expert in scientific advisory boards for R&D of asthma and COPD drugs for several Pharmaceutical companies including: MSD, Shering-Plough, CV Therapeutics, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, and Forest Laboratories. In 2008, he assumed the position of Clinical Director of Duska Therapeutics's Aspirex program. The program was focused on the development of therapeutic, medical device and diagnostic products related to adenosine 5'-triphosphate.