He was born on October 26, 1654 and died on January 20, 1720 in Rome. He was a clinician and botanist who is considered the first modern hygienist. His monographs of influenza, cattle plague (rinderpest), and malaria revealed his gifts as an epidemiologist. He related prevalence of malaria in swampy districts to the presence of mosquitoes and recommended drainage of the swamps to prevent the disease.
Lancisi was physician to the popes Innocent XI, Innocent XII, and Clement XI. His classic work De subitaneis mortibus (1707, “On Sudden Death”) was prepared at the request of Clement XI to explain an increase of sudden deaths in Rome. These Lancisi attributed to heart disease. This treatise with De motu cordis et aneurysmatibus (1728, “On the Motion of the Heart and on Aneurysms”) contributed to knowledge of cardiac pathology.