Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH

Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH

Deputy Director, Institute for Public Health

Additional Titles: Niess-Gain Professor and Chief, Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery, Program Director of the Master of Population Health Sciences Degree Program, and Associate Director for Prevention & Control, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center

Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, 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 also studies strategies to speed translation of research findings to equitable prevention programs 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.

In addition to serving as the deputy director of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, Colditz is the Neiss-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. He is principal investigator of the Washington University Implementation Science Center for Cancer Control (P50) and the Washington University Participant Engagement and Cancer Genomic Sequencing Center (WU-PE-CGS), NCI U2C. 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 impact disparities in cancer screening, treatment and survivorship in the region. He also leads the washU PE_CGS (Participant engagement and cancer genomics sequencing center as part of the NCI Cancer Moonshot.

Colditz’s research includes developing statistical models to more accurately classify levels of risk for several cancers, but with particular emphasis on beast 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. 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.

Colditz has devoted much time to the application of scientific advances in cancer prevention to broader population programs working initially with the American Cancer Society and the Massachusetts Cancer Control Program. He has led work groups to identify prevention research priorities for the NCI. He also 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 websites. He has received numerous awards for his research and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the AAAS.

Keywords: breast cancer, cancer, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, community-engaged research & practice, disparities, evidence-based practice, graduate education, intervention research, mathematical modeling, meta-analysis, observational study, outcomes research, overweight & obesity, physical activity, population health, prevention, racial & ethnic minorities, randomized-controlled trial, women’s health