Elio Riboli holds an M.D. degree and an MPH from the University of Milan and a MSc in Epidemiology from Harvard University. His career started at the National Institute of Cancer in Milan where he conducted research on the carcinogenic effect of occupational exposures, tobacco and alcohol.
In 1983, he joined the International Agency for Research on Cancer of WHO to lead the development of the Nutrition and Cancer Research programme. In 1990 he initiated the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a large population-based cohort designed to investigate the role of diet, nutrition, and metabolic factors in the aetiology of cancer and other chronic diseases. EPIC has included data and biological samples from half a million participants in 10 European Countries and has provided the bases for better understanding of the role of diet, physical activity, anthropometry, hormonal and metabolic factors and cancer. In 2006, he moved to Imperial College where he became the first Director of the Imperial School of Public Health (2008-2017) and continued his research in the field of nutritional epidemiology of cancer. He has contributed to the development of international collaborative projects between large cohorts and has extended his interests into the role of behavioral and metabolic factors in NCDs and life expectancy. He has contributed to over 900 publications.