Riccardo Polosa is the founder of the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction at the University of Catania. A full professor of internal medicine at the University of Catania with a specialist role as a respiratory physician,clinical immunologist, allergist and rheumatologist, Polosa is also the founder of the Center for Tobacco Research at the University of Catania, where contracted research staff conduct high-profile clinical and behavioral 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, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 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.
Nonetheless, over the last 15 years, his main research interest has progressively shifted into the area of tobacco-related diseases, smoking prevention and cessation, tobacco harm reduction and e-vapor products. More specifically, he has been involved in the behavioral, clinical, physiological and toxicological evaluation of e-cigarettes for over 10 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 recent bibliometric research. 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 is a member of the Scientific Committee of LIAF (Italian Anti-Smoking League) and of INNCO (International Nicotine Consumer Organization). Already national coordinator for the Italian Working Group on electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, he has been elected convenor for the European Working Group on requirements and test methods for emissions of electronic cigarettes within the European Committee for Standardization (CEN/TC 437).