It is with immense sadness that we announce that our dear and brilliant colleague and friend Dr Mateusz (Matteo) Zatoński died of a very rare cancer in hospital in London on 17 January 2022, following a short period of illness.

He worked and lived his life to the fullest till the end.

He left this world far too soon, but peacefully and with his beloved wife and partner of 16 years, Dr Aleksandra (Ola) Herbeć, by his side.

A leading light in the international tobacco control community, he achieved much in his 34 short but prodigious years.

Having graduated with first-class honours in history and politics from Glasgow, he then achieved a distinction in his MA in Central and South-East European Studies at University College London, followed by a MSc and a PhD in Public Health, both from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

A prodigious polymath, he spoke Czech, English, French, Italian and Russian, in addition to his native Polish. He published extensively, with over 60 outputs to his name, making vital contributions to public health globally, but most notably in central and eastern Europe.

In addition to his brilliance, it is his humanity, humour and generosity that we will miss the most. We are heartbroken and extend our deepest sympathy to Aleksandra, his parents Professor Witold and Mrs Jadwiga Zatoński, his four older brothers, Paweł, Witek, Marcin and Mario, his wider family, friends, and colleagues and research collaborators worldwide.

There will be a family funeral in his native Poland later in the year, with a celebration of his life and a full obituary to follow.

His wife and father invite Mateusz’s colleagues to share their thoughts and memories of his vibrant academic and professional life and friendships on this memory board.

Read our longer tribute to Mateusz, his life and his work.