eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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vol. 8
In memoriam

Dr Mateusz Zatonski: his scientific life and outstanding contribution to tobacco control and public health in Europe

Florin Mihaltan
1, 2
Cornel Radu-Loghin
Krzysztof Przewozniak
2, 3

Department of Pneumology, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), Brussels, Belgium
Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
J Health Inequal 2022; 8 (2): 95–97
Online publish date: 2023/01/19
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This paper is based on the text of laudation in memoriam for the ENSP Award to Dr Mateusz Zatonski for his outstanding contribution to tobacco control, presented by Professor Florin Mihaltan, President of the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, during the ENSP Youth Tobacco Control Leadership School in Warsaw, Poland on 14-16 November 2022.
Mateusz was a vibrant and talented public health scholar, who, in his short career, had already made a notable impact in the field of tobacco control and public health in Europe and globally. He had many roles and was wearing many complementary hats, which made him such a successful young leader and an effective collaborator. Without doubt, Mateusz would have been here with us today if his illness had not taken him from us far too soon.
Mateusz was born in in 1987, in the city of Nadarzyn, just south of Warsaw, the fifth and youngest son of Professor Witold and Mrs Jadwiga Zatoński. Mateusz’s first passions were film, literature, history, and languages. His interest in these subjects led him far from his native Poland, first to study linguistics at Oxford, where he was also engaged in supporting delivery of Polish language seminars to fellow students.
Mateusz then moved with his future wife, Aleksandra Herbeć, to Glasgow, Scotland to pursue academic study of film, history, and politics, from which he graduated with a first-class Master of Arts (Hons) degree in history and politics at the University of Glasgow. As a part of his undergraduate degree, he was selected to take part in a year abroad programme at the University of California at Berkeley.
There were many crossroads on Mateusz’s professional journey that ultimately led him to pursue a career in Public Health. First, in 2011 Mateusz won a very prestigious scholarship to attend the College of Europe, preparing future leaders for work at the offices of the European Union. However, Mateusz’s academic passions made him remain in the UK, where he first completed a Master of Arts (MA) with distinction in Central and South-East European Studies from University College London. Over the course of his studies, his focus broadened from history and politics to public health, inspired by his father’s work as an eminent global public health leader, cancer epidemiologist, and tobacco control expert. Following his MA, he joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropi­cal Medicine, where he studied for a Master of Science in public health...

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