Tribute — 15 November 2012

A Tribute to Francesco Orlandi


(1927   2012)


It is with sadness that we have learned of the death on 12 November 2012 in Ancona, Italy, of Francesco Orlandi, MD.   Francesco was a founding member of our International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, and a frequent and valuable contributor to our critiques.  He will be sorely missed, both as a friend and as a respected scientist.  Besides his strong passion for science, he was an extraordinarily cultivated man, rich in his sense of humor, and a sincere friend of many members of our Forum.


Francesco Orlandi was Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Ancona from 1975 to 1999 and Direttore, Dottorato di ricerca Alimenti e Salute, 1997-99.  He also served as Professor on wine and health at the Corso di Laurea Specialistica in Scienze Viticole ed Enologiche at the University of Turin. 

Francesco was counselor and coordinator of the “wine and health” group of the Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino, and an OIV expert at the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies in Rome.  In addition, he served as Visiting Professor in the Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, in 1977-8.

Francesco was always interested in the study of the health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption.  In the 1990’s, he performed a number of experimental studies in rats on the mechanisms of early ethanol-induced liver damage, with particular attention to apoptosis and cell proliferation. 


More recently Francesco became increasingly interested in the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption on human health.  He became convinced that only by working in a multi-disciplinary context could young investigators contribute to a new renaissance of alcohol and wine research in Italy.  This is why in June, 2011, he organized the first seminar on responsible drinking in the context of the Mediterranean Diet, which was held in the ancient Pontignano Abbey, near Siena.  There he brought together all young Italian scientists involved in this field of research; the abstracts of this meeting have been published (Eur J Nutr 2011;50:489–498).


As stated by a Forum member, Francesco was much more than a great doctor and an outstanding scientist.  He was an old style gentleman, able to use the right words in every social context.  He was an extremely educated person, cultivating interests from art, music, and sailing to science with the emotional motivation, intellectual freedom, and motivated curiosity that usually only young talents can have.  Francesco will remain forever a young enthusiastic scientist for all of us who had the fortunate chance of interacting with him.



These comments provided by members of the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research  (


15 November 2012