Invited speakers ID

Francesca Racioppi joined the World Health Organization in 1997, and presently is the Acting Head of the Rome Office of the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health.

As part of her assignments, she has established and coordinated the WHO/Europe programme for violence and injury prevention. In this capacity she has coordinated global advocacy events in the European Region, such as the First Global UN Road Safety Week (2007) and the World Health Day 2004 “Road safety is no accident”. She also coordinates the WHO European activities on “Transport and Health”. In 2008, she has also been involved with the celebration of World Health Day 2008, dedicated to “Protecting health from climate change”.

She has authored or contributed to several WHO publications and papers published in peer reviewed journals and has worked in many European countries to support situation analyses and policy development in the area of environmental health.

Before joining the WHO she was a Section Head in Procter and Gamble, where she worked on aspects related to consumer and environmental safety. She has an academic background as molecular biologist and post-graduate education in environmental and human toxicology and environmental health epidemiology.

For Café Climat, Francesca would suggest to highlight the most recent understanding of the links between climate change and health, emphasizing the effects expected in the European Region and their unequal distribution, why these represent a challenge to society in general and health systems in particular, and what can be done to strengthen our capacity to address this major challenge to health security and development.


Steffen Loft is professor in Environmental Medicine at Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Head of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.

Steffen holds a Masters degree in Medicine from the University of Copenhagen in 1980 and received a Doctor degree of Medical Science 1990.

His research interests focus on ambient air pollution, diet and physiological factors in relation to individual susceptibility. Mechanistically we study the importance of metabolic processes in relation to the effects of foreign compounds and endogenous reactive species in the human body in order to prevent harmful and improve beneficial effects. We are developing individual exposure assessment, especially for air pollution particles, by means of models, personal samplers and biomarkers.

A series of epidemiological studies on health effects of particles on acute cardiopulmonary diseases, lung cancer in a nested case-control study and health outcomes in children, including asthma and birth weight have been initiated. The specific research strategy involves interplay between in vitro assays, experimental animal studies and pidemiology/mechanistic studies applying biomarkers in humans, in particular the development and application biomarkers, including gene expression patterns, within the area of oxidative damage to DNA and repair as well as foreign compound metabolism.

Steffen is also chairman of the Board of The Environmental Research Center of the Danish Ministry for the Interior and Health.


Henrik C. Wegener is director of National Food Institute. Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Henrik holds a Master of Food Science and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen. He has been involved in food safety research since 1987. Initially HCW worked for eight years as a molecular epidemiologist in the laboratory, then for ten years he headed surveillance and epidemiological research activities on foodborne zoonoses at the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research (DFVF). He led the successful establishment of the interagency unit the Danish Zoonosis Centre from 1994.

From 1999 to 2000 HCW was stationed in WHO-HQ in Geneva, where he worked on the development of the WHO global strategy for the prudent use of antimicrobials in food animals and the establishment of the WHO Global Salmonella Surveillance Program (GSS). In March 2006 he became the director of the National Food Institute in Denmark. HCW is Adjunct Professor of Zoonoses Epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Henrik C. Wegener has received the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics – International Leadership Award to Preserve the Power of Antibiotics. He is an associate editor of the Journal Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, and has published more than 100 scientific papers and book chapters and more than 150 other publications. HCW has participated in numerous national and international committees and currently sits on the advisory forum for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Dernière modification : 06/11/2008

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