Colditz to be honored for cancer prevention research

Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, an international leader in cancer prevention research, will be honored next week by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).


Colditz will be recognized Sept. 29 with the AACR’s 2014 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Prevention Research. He will receive the award at the organization’s 13th annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in New Orleans, where he will present a lecture focused on the challenges and opportunities in breast cancer prevention.

Colditz is a disease prevention expert at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine​ in St. Louis.

“It is an honor to receive this recognition for cancer prevention research that would not be possible without a team of outstanding collaborators and strong institutional support from Siteman,” Colditz said. “The global burden of breast cancer – it accounts for one in four cancers diagnosed among women worldwide – and the emerging evidence linked to childhood and adolescent lifestyle means we must shift our focus to earlier in life to stand a chance of significantly reducing the burden of breast cancer now and for future generations.”

As an epidemiologist and public health expert, Colditz has longstanding interest in preventing cancer and chronic diseases. He also is interested in strategies to speed basic research discoveries into prevention efforts to help reduce disease rates.

His past research has focused on the health effects of smoking, weight and weight gain, physical activity and diet. He developed Your Disease Risk, an online tool that assesses a person’s risk of major diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke and offers personalized advice for prevention. He also developed Zuum​, a related iPad app.

The Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery at Washington University, Colditz also is chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery; deputy director of the Institute for Public Health; and associate director of prevention and control at Siteman.

He came to the School of Medicine in 2006 from Harvard University, where he helped lead the Nurses’ Health Study, one of the largest and longest running studies of women’s health.

In June, he received the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)–American Cancer Society Award. In 2011, Colditz received the American Cancer Society’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, for his dedication to research that focuses on the prevention of chronic diseases and cancer.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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.

Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri, is ranked among the top cancer facilities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Comprising the cancer research, prevention and treatment programs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, Siteman is also Missouri’s only member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.​​