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Neuroendocrinology Letters, Vol. 20 Nos. 1/2 Contents
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NeuroendocrinologyİLetters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology,
ISSNİ0172ñ780X Copyrightİ©İ1999 NeuroendocrinologyİLetters


NEL VOL. 20 1/2

1999; 20:91–100
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Pineal mythology and chronorisk:
The Swan Song of Brunetto TARQUINI

(February 8, 1938 – December 10, 1998)

Franz Halberg, Germaine Cornélissen, Othild Schwartzkopff,
Mario Cagnoni, Federico Perfetto & Roberto Tarquini

Brunetto Tarquini, head of Internal Medicine at the University of Florence, Italy, died at the peak of a productive career. A few days before his passing, his contributions to the 6th National Congress of the Italian Society for Chronobiology in Chianciano Terme—in the footsteps of the Roman poet Horace and the emperor Augustus (Rastrelli 1999; Soren and Romer 1999)—exuded scholarship, which we try to convey herein; on a trip after the meeting through his native countryside, Brunetto exuded friendship, for those living and also for those of quite a while ago.
Brunetto, who was born in Trequanda, near Siena, graduated in medicine from the University of Florence in 1963. He then went through the ranks, spending his entire professional career in Florence. In an earlier generation, Harvey Cushing visited Florence originally to enjoy Michelangelo’s David and other works of art, but was pleased to encounter an outstanding medical atmosphere. Albeit with a lag in phase, Brunetto Tarquini further added greatly to the aura of Florentine medicine.
Here, Brunetto became professor of medical semeiotics and cardiology in 1981, and chief of an internal medicine department in 1990, a position he held until his untimely death. As director of the Inter-University Center for Clinical Chronobiology and as coordinator of a post-doctoral school in chronobiology, Brunetto influenced many young Italian physicians. He became the leader of a budding specialty of chronomedicine, coordinating an international group. His focus included temporal aspects of vascular diseases from womb-to-tomb as well as oncological risk factors. His research thus ranged from neonatology over neuroendocrinology to geriatrics, by studies on the pineal in particular, documenting the signature of heliogeomagnetic master switches for circulating human melatonin.

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