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Project Investigator Biography

Graham A. Colditz, M.D., Dr. P.H., F.A.F.P.H.M. Graham A. Colditz, M.D., Dr. P.H., F.A.F.P.H.M.

Washington University
School of Medicine
660 S. Euclid Avenue
Campus Box 8100
St. Louis, MO 63110-1093
phone: (314)454-7939
alt: (314)454-7940
fax: (314)454-7941

Graham A. Colditz is the Associate Director of Prevention and Control at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine. Since fall 2006, he has overseen research, education, and community outreach in cancer prevention sponsored by the Center and leads the Program to Eliminate Cancer Disparities.

Dr. Colditz was born in Australia and received his B.Sc. and medical degree from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his M.P.H. and Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health. In 1990 he was elected a Fellow in the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

For 25 years Dr. Colditz was at Harvard University where he served in a number of positions. From 1996-2006 he was principal investigator on the Nurses' Health Study, a longitudinal study established in 1976, of 121,701 nurses, investigating risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. He established and was principal investigator on the Growing Up Today Study relating diet and lifestyle of 16,883 adolescents ages 9 to 14 at entry to their growth and health outcomes. In 1998, he was promoted to full professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Colditz was also associate director of Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 2005-2006 just prior to coming to Washington University. He was director of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention at HSPH and within the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center he was deputy associate director for shared resources and leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program.

With longstanding interest in the causes and prevention of chronic disease, particularly among women, Dr. Colditz has evaluated numerous lifestyle factors including postmenopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk, and has developed statistical models to more accurately predict cancer risk. Other areas of his expertise include tobacco and obesity in relation to cancer and other chronic diseases. He 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 also developed the website,, to communicate tailored prevention messages to the public.

Dr. Colditz served as editor-in-chief of the journal Cancer Causes and Control from 1998 to 2006. In 2004, Dr. Colditz was awarded the American Cancer Society-Cissy Hornung Clinical Research Professorship. In October 2006 on the basis of professional achievement and his commitment to public health, he was elected to membership of the Institute of Medicine, an independent body that advises the U.S. government on many issues affecting public health.

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Updated: 07/23/09