Dr. Graham Colditz Honored With 2014 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Prevention Research


PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) congratulates Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, on receiving the 2014 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Prevention Research. As an epidemiologist and public health expert, Colditz is being honored for his longstanding commitment to the prevention and control of chronic diseases, including cancer.

Colditz, Niess-Gain professor of surgery, professor of medicine, and associate director of prevention and control at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will receive the award at the 13th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Sept. 28-Oct. 1, in New Orleans.

Colditz, who is also chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences and deputy director of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University School of Medicine, will present his lecture, “Challenges and Opportunities in Breast Cancer Prevention,” 4:25 p.m. CT, Sept. 29, in Grand Ballroom C of the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

The award is given annually to a scientist residing in any country in the world for his or her seminal contributions to the field of cancer prevention. Such investigations must have been conducted in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological, or behavioral science in cancer prevention research. Further, these studies must have had not only a major impact on the field, but must also have stimulated new directions in this important area.

Colditz is an internationally recognized leader in cancer prevention. Colditz’s research includes developing statistical models to more accurately classify levels of risk for several cancers, and to clarify the importance of adolescent lifestyle in the prevention of breast cancer.

“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 – one in four cancers diagnosed among women worldwide – and the emerging evidence on childhood and adolescent lifestyle means we must shift our focus to earlier life to stand a chance of significantly reducing the burden of breast cancer now and for future generations.”

Other areas of interest for Colditz include tobacco and obesity in relation to cancer. His work has also shown that smoking increases the risk of stroke and total mortality among women and that weight gain increases the risk of diabetes. Colditz’s work has also demonstrated the validity of self-report methods for use in large-scale epidemiologic studies and refined diet assessment tools for use in public health settings such as the Women, Infants, and Children Program. Colditz developed the award-winning Your Disease Risk website, which shares tailored prevention messages with the public.

Colditz has been an active AACR member since 1996, serving on several research grant and awards committees and as a mentor in a grant-writing workshop. He was also honored with the AACR-American Cancer Society (ACS) Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention in 2012. He has been recognized with the ACS Medal of Honor, the American Society of Clinical Oncology-ACS Award and Lecture, membership in the Institute of Medicine, and appointment to the National Institute of Health Board of Scientific Directors.

Prior to his tenure at Washington University in St. Louis, Colditz had served on the faculties at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is currently honorary professor of population at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

Colditz received his medical degree from the University of Queensland and his doctorate of public health from Harvard University School of Public Health. He was an intern at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and a resident at the Internal Medicine Royal Brisbane Hospital, and then completed research fellowships at Harvard as a Fulbright Scholar and Knox Fellow.