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First Arthur Schatzkin Lecture in Nutritional Epidemiology

July 2012 - Linkage Newsletter

In April, the first Arthur Schatzkin Distinguished Lecture in Nutritional Epidemiology was held in the NIH Clinical Center’s Lipsett Amphitheater. NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), and DCEG established this annual lecture to honor the memory of Arthur Schatzkin, M.D., Dr.P.H., a visionary scientist, mentor, and leader in the field of nutrition and cancer.

The Arthur Schatzkin Distinguished Lecture organizing committee included Rachel Ballard-Barbash (DCCPS), Victor Kipnis (DCP), Yikyung Park (NEB), Rashmi Sinha (NEB), and Amy Subar (DCCPS). The inaugural lecture was given by Dr. John Potter, member and senior advisor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. The title of his lecture was “Nutrition, environment, development, and cancer: Casting a wider net.”

As a member and former director of the FHCRC Public Health Sciences Division, Dr. Potter focuses his research on the role of diet, physical activity, hormones, and genetics in the development of cancer, with an emphasis on the epidemiology, biology, early detection, and prevention of colon cancer. He has paid particular attention to the aspects of diet and physical activity that reduce risk—notably plant foods and the many compounds they contain that may act in one way or another to slow or reverse the process of carcinogenesis.

Dr. Potter earned an M.B.B.S. in 1971 and a Ph.D. in epidemiology in 1984, both from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. 

DCEG Director Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., M.D., commented, “This annual lecture series affords us the opportunity to honor Arthur’s memory and his seminal contributions to the field of nutritional epidemiology as well as provide a forum at NIH to discuss the emerging research and concepts that are accelerating progress in the field.”

Dr. Arthur Schatzkin joined NCI in 1984 and served as the Chief of the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB) in DCEG from 1995 to 2011. He was committed to understanding the role of nutrition in cancer etiology and prevention as well as developing new methods and resources to advance research in nutritional epidemiology. In addition, he was dedicated to training, mentoring, and supporting young scientists. Dr. Schatzkin passed away from cancer in January 2011.