It is with profound sadness that we write these words about our close friend and colleague, Tiziano Baccetti. On November 25, 2011, Tiziano died accidentally in a fall in Prague, after having spoken at the 9th International Orthodontic Symposium. According to the organizers, he gave a “brilliant, energetic, and humorous” keynote address for which he received a standing ovation. Tiziano was true to form, always an engaging speaker.
Dr Baccetti was a significant and productive leader of a new generation of orthodontists. He held the position of research professor in the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Florence in Italy. He graduated cum laude in dentistry in 1989 and received a doctor of philosophy degree in dental sciences in 1996, both from the University of Florence. He had great facility with languages, speaking 4 fluently and being proficient in 5 others, including Latin and Greek.
Tiziano and his close colleague, Lorenzo Franchi, have had strong ties to the University of Michigan for the last 17 years. Tiziano and Lorenzo first met the McNamara family in Rome in 1994, and the 3 families subsequently became very close. This initial encounter led to lasting professional and personal friendships that included trips to Ann Arbor 3 or 4 times per year (Tiziano recently said that he had made at least 50 trips to Michigan). Since 2000, both Tiziano and Lorenzo have been Thomas M. Graber Visiting Scholars in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Michigan, advising many orthodontic residents concerning their research. Tiziano also had spoken at numerous graduate programs in the United States and abroad.
Dr Baccetti received much recognition for his research and clinical investigations during his career, including the National Prize of the Italian Society of Orthodontics for the best scientific article in 1996. He was awarded the Henry Goldman Prize by the Italian Society of Periodontology for his studies on impacted canines, a research area in which he was considered a world expert. Tiziano also was a corecipient of the Seventh Biennial Outstanding Research Award of the Edward H. Angle Education and Research Foundation in 2003. He spoke at the Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists for the last 12 years, most recently presenting the Jacob A. Salzmann Memorial Lecture in Chicago in 2011.
At the time of his death, Dr Baccetti already had had a professional career worthy of a lifetime. He authored over 240 scientific articles on diverse topics, including the treatment of Class III malocclusion and orthodontic treatment timing. He was extremely productive, collaborating with researchers internationally. He had lectured in more than 25 countries around the world.
Dr Baccetti is survived by his centenarian grandmother, Bruna Baccetti; his parents, Carlo and Anna Baccetti; and his 7-year-old son, Vittorio. His legacy includes leaving behind the thousands of people who have heard him speak or have read his scientific articles, and who now treat patients better because of his efforts. More important are the hundreds of persons who were fortunate to call Tiziano their friend (there are many worldwide). He made friends easily and was the catalyst for creating both personal and professional relationships. He lived life to the fullest, always seeking the next challenge. Tiziano made all of our lives richer; we miss him greatly.