Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH
Deputy Director, Institute for Public Health; Chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences and Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery, School of Medicine
Dr. Colditz is an internationally recognized leader in cancer prevention. As an epidemiologist and public health expert, he has a longstanding interest in the preventable causes of chronic disease, particularly among women. He is also pursues strategies to speed translation of research findings to prevention tactics that work. His past research has focused on the health effects of smoking, weight and weight gain, physical activity, diet, and the adverse effects of medications such as postmenopausal hormone therapy, documenting that current use increases risk of breast cancer. He has received numerous national awards for this research and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2006.
In addition to serving as the Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Health, Dr. Colditz is the Niess-Gain Professor in the School of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery, Program Director of the Master of Population Health Sciences degree program, and the Associate Director of Prevention & Control at the Siteman Cancer Center. Dr. Colditz is the principal investigator for TREC@WUSTL, an NCI-funded transdisciplinary research center studying the associations between obesity and cancer causes, prevention, and survival. He is also the principal investigator of the Siteman Cancer Center’s Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD), a group that uses community-based partnerships to reduce disparities in cancer prevention, screening, treatment and survivorship in the region.
Dr. Colditz’s research includes developing statistical models to more accurately classify levels of risk for several cancers, and the potential for adolescent lifestyle to advance prevention of breast cancer. Other areas of his expertise include tobacco and obesity in relation to cancer. He also documented that smoking increases the risk of stroke and total mortality among women and that weight gain increases the risk of diabetes. Dr. Colditz has focused extensively on the validation of self-report information for use in large scale epidemiologic studies and refined diet assessment tools for use in public health settings such as WIC.
Dr. Colditz has devoted much effort to the application of scientific advances in cancer prevention to broader population programs working with the American Cancer Society and the Massachusetts Cancer Control Program. He developed the website Your Disease Risk to assess individual risk and communicate tailored prevention messages to the public. The site has continuing media coverage and has received numerous commendations for its standing among health-related web sites. He also leads a team writing the blog Cancer News in Context.