Professor Giorgio Pardi, MD

Giorgio Pardi

1940-2007

Professor Giorgio Pardi, MD, Director of the School of Specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Milan died May 1, 2007 at his vacation home in Venice.  Professor Pardi was an outstanding leader of academic obstetrics and gynecology in Italy.  He played a unique and pivotal role in transforming Italian Obstetrics-Gynecology into a modern clinical science. Dr. Pardi was born in 1940 at Pavia, Italy.  He received his medical degree from the University of Milan in 1964. He completed residency training there in 1966 and then was a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University, on a Fulbright grant, training with Karlis Adamson and Stanley James.  He returned to the University of Milan where he served as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics-Gynecology from 1968-1983. He became Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology at San Paolo Hospital in Milan and Professor of OB-GYN at the University of Milan. More recently, he had returned to Mangiagalli Hospital in Milan as Chairman of the department.  He served as Corresponding Editor, for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He was President of the Italian Perinatal Society from 1992-1994 and President of the Society of Ob-GYN for Lombardy from 1998-2000.

I knew Professor Pardi from his post-doctoral fellowship days but we became reacquainted and developed our research collaborations stemming from a perinatal conference held in Erice, Sicily in the early 1980s.  Even at that time, as a Professor at the University of Milan in the Department of Professor Candiani, Giorgio was determined to move obstetrical research forward and he showed great foresight in recognizing the fundamental importance of insuring a new generation of young obstetricians who shared his vision of obstetrics and of its research potential. 

At that time, we discussed collaborative research projects and Giorgio recruited Dr. Anna Maria Marconi to come to the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1985 as a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Perinatal Medicine. She was followed thereafter by Dr. Irene Cetin, who continued these studies.  Thus, Professor Pardi established a powerful group of young obstetricians capable of sophisticated studies utilizing stable isotopes in normal and complicated pregnancies. Later, when Professor Pardi moved to the Hospital San Paolo as Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he continued to develop research directed at fundamental questions in human pregnancy.  He expanded the development of young people capable of detailed studies of maternal and fetal metabolism and nutrition by recruiting Dr. Cinzia Paolini and Dr. Valentina Brusati to come to Colorado for similar training.  Dr. Mauro Buscaglia headed Dr. Pardi’s clinical research team at the San Paolo Hospital and pioneered many of the studies utilizing cordocentesis for clinical service and research.

At the same time, Professor Pardi realized the importance of developing techniques to assess fetal well being that included evaluation of the maternal and fetal cardiovascular system.  Dr. Enrico Ferrazzi and Dr. Maria Bellotti were crucial in this development and they completed many landmark studies in human biology involving assessment of the fetal circulation through velocimetry studies. What was exciting about their research program is that they could progress to studies that moved from velocimetry to true blood flow in human pregnancies.  Dr. Antonio Barbera and Dr. Serena Rigano were crucial to this work.

Professor Pardi’s vision was all encompassing and included research developments in many areas of reproductive technologies, in genetics and in placental pathology.  When he returned to Mangiagalli Hospital as Chairman of Obstetrics-Gynecology, he coordinated research activities with those of Enrico Ferrazzi at the Hospital Sacco and with Anna Maria Marconi at San Paolo Hospital to form quite a unique research collaboration.

All of the above accomplishments attest to his incredible energy and determination.  What was evident to all his colleagues was his generosity to all around him, particularly young people, and his determination to move his field forward through the improvement in Obstetrics-Gynecology training standards for Italy, which he helped to establish and in the academic goals he set for young people.  He is survived by his wife, Nicoletta Corbella Pardi,  by his two children, Francesca and Giulio, and by his 3 grandchildren.

Submitted by Frederick C. Battaglia, M.D.

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