In Memorium: Professor Dame Valerie Beral
, by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.
Professor Dame Valerie Beral, M.D., an eminent epidemiologist who made tremendous contributions in the study of hormonal, reproductive, and infectious causes of cancer, died on August 26th. She was a valued collaborator and friend to many DCEG investigators and will be deeply missed.
“Valerie taught me how to think like an epidemiologist, and then gave me the confidence to be one,” said Amy Berrington, D.Phil., senior investigator and former Chief in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch, reflecting on her mentor from postdoctoral training at Oxford University. “She was especially committed to helping junior women scientists and has an amazing legacy of women now around the world who she supported, mentored and inspired.”
DCEG was fortunate to host Valerie on two occasions, in 2006 as a visiting scholar, and in 2014 as a distinguished lecturer following her delivery of the Rosalind E. Franklin Award Lecture at the NCI Intramural Retreat. In her most recent visit, she made a lasting impression on the next generation of researchers during a roundtable discussion with trainees titled, “A Life in Epidemiology,” and at a division-wide seminar cleverly titled,” A Career in Epidemiology: An Observational Study.”
Valerie was Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, principal investigator for the Million Women Study, and a Fellow in both the Royal College of Physicians’ Faculty of Public Health and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She served on numerous working groups and committees, advising such organizations as the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Learn more about Valerie’s career and research by listening to the BBC’s radio interview, recorded in 2013.