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Miquel Porta Edit Profile

epidemiologist , physician , professor

Miquel Porta, Spanish epidemiologist, educator. Fellow, Fulbright Commission and La Caixa Bank, 1983-1984. European councillor and chairman Institute of Economic Affairs - European Epidemiology Federation, since 2002; Member of Spanish Society Epidemiology (president 1994-1998).


Porta, Miquel was born on April 21, 1957 in Barcelona, Spain. Son of Miquel Porta and Mercè Serra.


Doctor of Medicine, U Autònoma Barcelona, 1980. Doctor of Philosophy, U d'Alacant, 1985. Master in Public Health, University North Carolina, 1986.


He has promoted the integration of biological, clinical and environmental knowledge and methods in health research and teaching, which he has conducted internationally. Notably, in Spain, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard, Imperial College London, and several other universities in Europe, North America, Kuwait, and Brazil. Appointed by the International Epidemiological Association (IEA), in 2008 he succeeded the Canadian epidemiologist John M. Last as Editor of "A Dictionary of Epidemiology".

In the Preface to this book he argues for an inclusive and integrative practice of the science of epidemiology. He is currently the head of the Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer Unit at the Hospital del Mar Research Institute - IMIM. He is also a Professor of Preventive Medicine & Public Health, School of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), and an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

After graduating from the UAB School of Medicine in 1981, Porta was during 3 years a Fellow with the Division of Clinical Pharmacology of UAB. He was then awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at UNC, where he was later a Burroughs Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmacoepidemiology. The three main lines of research of his Unit at IMIM are: 1) Clinical and molecular epidemiology of pancreatic cancer and cancer of the extrahepatic biliary system. Gene-environment interactions with organochlorine compounds in the etiopathogenesis of pancreatic diseases.

2) Screening, early clinical detection, and "diagnostic delay" in cancer. 3) Assessing the impact on human health of Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs). Other than at the UAB School of Medicine, he has also taught on molecular epidemiology, clinical epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology at other institutions, including McGill University (Montreal, Canada), Imperial College (London), the European Educational Programme in Epidemiology (Firenze, Italy), the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (Münster, Germany), several universities in Kuwait, Italy, Brazil and Mexico, and at Harvard, where he was on sabbatical in 1998-1999.

He has acted as a grant and doctoral thesis reviewer for the Karolinska Institutet, the Finnish Academy, Diabetes UK, and several other European and American scientific organisations. From 1994 to 1998 he was President of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE). From 2002 to 2005 he was European Councillor of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) and Chairman of the IEA European Epidemiology Federation.

He is (co)author of over 300 papers. Beyond his main lines of research, he has written on topics such as causality and the Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) / Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) link, persistent organic pollutants and public health, genome metaphors, the bibliographic impact factor and scientific journals, or the roles of scientific associations, among other issues.


Since December 2012, Miquel Porta is a board member of the scientific foundation board of the Food Packaging Forum, a science communication organisation focused on food packaging health. He is a member of the editorial boards of the 'European Journal of Clinical Investigation', ‘Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health’ , and the ‘Journal of Clinical Epidemiology’, an editorial consultant to ‘The Lancet’, and a Co-editor of the ‘European Journal of Epidemiology’.


Life partner Teresa Pi-Sunyer. Children: Júlia, Jan, Anna.

Miquel Porta

Mercè Serra

Jan Porta

Júlia Porta

Anna Porta