Roberto Vicinanza portrait

Roberto Vicinanza, MD, PhD

Instructional Associate Professor of Gerontology

Expertise: Age-related diseases, Nutrition and metabolism, Mental health


  • Postdoctoral training at USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Pinchas Cohen Lab, 2017
  • Clinical Fellowship in Geriatrics, Policlinico Umberto I, University Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, 2012-2017
  • Visiting researcher, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, 2009-2012
  • PhD in Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 2008-2012
  • MD cum laude, Faculty of Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 2001- 2008
  • Diploma in languages, Liceo Linguistico G. Carducci, Rome, Italy, 1999


  • Age-related diseases
  • Geriatric medicine and mental health
  • Endocrinology and cardiometabolic disorders
  • Mediterranean diet and lifestyle interventions
  • Cellular and molecular nutrition
  • Cell biology and mitochondrial-derived peptides


Roberto Vicinanza, MD, PhD, is an Italian physician and a certified specialist in Geriatric Medicine from Sapienza University of Rome, the largest university in Europe and one of the most prestigious Italian universities, commonly ranking first in national rankings. Vicinanza focused his clinical training on the complex management and treatment of acute and chronic diseases in older adults at the Geriatric Clinic of Policlinico Umberto I University Hospital in Rome, where he also conducted clinical studies on the Mediterranean Diet and age-related diseases. He then completed his post-doctoral training with Pinchas Cohen at USC, investigating the emerging science of mitochondrial-derived peptides. Vicinanza is an instructional assistant professor of gerontology, currently teaching several courses at USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. His lectures include the fundamentals of nutrition for the Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity coordinated program, and classes for the Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology program. He also conducts research on the Mediterranean Diet and on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in age-related diseases in the Cohen Lab.

In 2008, he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine cum laude from Sapienza University of Rome, defending his thesis on the effects of thyroid hormone and LDL-cholesterol on nitric oxide production in human endothelial cells, and in 2012 he earned a PhD in Molecular Medicine from the same university, defending his thesis on the biological effects of specific phytonutrients for cancer prevention. During his doctoral program, he was a visiting researcher at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, training in clinical and molecular nutrition alongside David Heber, a world-renowned expert in nutrition, metabolism and obesity. Vicinanza has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals in the field of geriatric medicine, mental health, cell biology, molecular endocrinology, nutrition and diet.

Email: roberto.vicinanza@usc.edu

Office Location: GER 231f

Office Phone: (213) 821-4162

Publications and links:


Curriculum Vitae