Siteman Cancer Center expert honored nationally for prevention efforts

Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, a disease prevention expert at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will be recognized April 3 for his 30 years of fighting cancer before it starts.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Cancer Society will jointly honor Colditz with their Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the AACR annual meeting in Chicago.


The award salutes Colditz’s work to identify lifestyle and environmental factors that affect people’s health and to develop and teach cancer prevention strategies at the individual and community levels. This includes showing that regular exercise in girls as young as 12 can reduce their risk of breast cancer and initiating an effort to collect blood samples and health histories of women who get mammograms to help determine why certain women get breast cancer and why they respond differently to treatment.

“It’s a great honor and wonderful recognition of the power of prevention and the priority of translating our research to action,” Colditz says about the award.

The award presentation coincides with a talk by Colditz, “Integrating Risk Across the Lifespan: The Case of Breast Cancer Prevention.” More than half of cancer in the U.S. is preventable, and he will shed light on the top barriers to applying what we already know about preventing the disease. Using his research on lifestyle factors that contribute to breast cancer, he will highlight what is needed to successfully prevent breast cancer and save lives around the world.

The April 3 award presentation and Colditz’s talk begin at 3 p.m. at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention facility.

Colditz has published more than 800 original research manuscripts and has edited or contributed chapters to more than 100 books on cancer prevention and health promotion. His research also helps power a website,, that helps people assess their risk of developing cancer, diabetes and other diseases, and suggests ways to lead longer, healthier lives.

In December, the American Cancer Society awarded Colditz its highest award, a Medal of Honor, for cancer control research.

Colditz is the Niess-Gain Professor and associate director of Prevention and Control at Siteman Cancer Center. He joined the center in 2006 after 23 years at Harvard University, where he was director of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention and leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program at Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He earned master’s and doctorate of public health degrees at Harvard and a medical degree from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

For more information about Colditz’s research, visit

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center within a 240-mile radius of St. Louis. Siteman Cancer Center is composed of the combined cancer research and treatment programs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.