(EVANSVILLE, IN, August 15, 2005) Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H., Chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was named winner of the twenty-fifth annual Bristol-Myers Squibb/Mead Johnson Freedom to Discover Award for Distinguished Achievement in Nutrition Research. He was recognized for his pioneering work in the field of nutritional epidemiology, including the development of large-scale cohort studies and methods to assess dietary intake in large populations. In so doing, he uncovered significant relationships between nutrition and chronic diseases, including major cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
More than two decades ago, Dr. Willett began developing new research tools and methods during his early participation in overseeing three groundbreaking large-scale cohort studies: the Nurses' Health Study, involving more than 121,000 women, the 116,000-person Nurses' Health Study II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study of 52,000 men. He and his colleagues have followed more than 250,000 participants over many years, developing and administering questionnaires about their dietary intake and health status, while also evaluating biological markers of dietary intake, particularly plasma and toenail samples, as well as genetic determinants of disease risk. By creating and validating questionnaire and biochemical methods to assess dietary intake in large populations, Dr. Willett has provided a wealth of data on diet and other lifestyle factors in relation to risks of a number of chronic illnesses.
Among his major findings: that alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer and that animal fats can lead to heart attacks. His work has uncovered the benefits of olive oil, peanut butter and other nuts so-called good fats--and the hazards of refined starches. He found that with the rPage: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Robin Herman
Harvard School of Public Health
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