Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH

Dr. Colditz is Niess Gain Professor and Chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine. He serves as Associate Director for Prevention and Control at Siteman Cancer Center and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Colditz is an epidemiologist and public health expert with a longstanding interest in the causes and prevention of chronic disease, particularly among women. His work with large population cohorts is exemplary. From 1996 to 2006, Dr. Colditz was the principal investigator of the Nurses’ Health Study, one of the largest and longest running investigations of factors that influence women’s health. He continues to pursue approaches to the translation of epidemiologic data to improve risk stratification and tailor prevention messages and screening strategies.

Dr. Colditz’s leadership has broadened the scope of prevention research, education and community outreach and markedly raised the profile of the Washington University School of Medicine’s public and population health initiatives. After 23 years at Harvard University, Dr. Colditz joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2006 to serve as the Niess-Gain Professor and associate director of Prevention and Control at the Siteman Cancer Center. In 2010, Dr. Colditz was named chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery. He also serves as program director for the School of Medicine’s Master of Population Health Sciences degree program.

With a commitment to identifying preventable causes of chronic disease among women and adolescents, Dr. Colditz continues to study benign breast disease and other markers for risk of breast cancer. Other areas of his expertise include tobacco and obesity in relation to cancer and other chronic diseases. In 2011 he received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Cancer Control Research and received awards from AACR and from ASCO for cancer prevention research. In 2016 he chaired the International Agency for Research on Cancer Handbook Working Group “Body Fatness and Cancer”. He continues to address comorbidities of obesity and benefits of weight loss. Dr. Colditz developed the award-winning Your Disease Risk website ( which communicates tailored prevention messages to the public. He has published over 1100 peer-reviewed publications, six books and contributed to six reports for the National Academy of Medicine. He received the 2018 Daniel P. Schuster Award for Distinguished Work in Clinical and Translational Science, Washington University School of Medicine. He was also elected as a Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2019 Dr. Colditz was appointed to the NIH Council of Councils.