My research revolves primarily around four major prospective studies. I serve as Principal Investigator of the Nurses' Health Study, a cohort of 121,700 nurses followed since 1976. I served as a founding co-investigator and remain active in three other cohorts: Nurses' Health Study II, a cohort of 116,680 nurses followed since 1989, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, a cohort of 51,000 men begun in 1986, and the Physicians' Health Study of 22,071 men followed since 1982. Biologic samples have been collected in each of the cohorts, sometimes repeatedly. Using a nested case-control design, the samples are analyzed for a variety of markers of cancer (and other outcomes). We examine a wide range of topics in these studies, but a major focus is on nutrition. We use food frequency questionnaires, diet records, anthropometry, and biochemical analyses of serum, plasma, DNA, RNA, red cells, adipose tissue, tumor tissue, and toenails. These studies investigate many health outcomes including cancer, and precursors such as polyps, benign breast disease, and obesity. We are also initiating studies in cancer survivorship, including quality of life.
The major focus of my research is in prostate cancer, for etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and secondary prevention. I have a particular interest in pathoepidemiology, gene expression and prostate cancer risk and prognosis.
Most of my teaching is at the Harvard School of Public Health, where I teach the Practice of Epidemiology. I served as chair of the Department of Epidemiology 2000-2007, and am PI of two training grants related to cancer epidemiology. Most of my teaching is at the Harvard School of Public Health, where I teach the Practice of Epidemiology. At Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, I serve as Head of the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Unit.