Posted on September 25, 2017
D. Michal Freedman, J.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., retired from DCEG in September 2017, after 20 years of service. After practicing law for several years, she earned a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She joined the NCI Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program in 1997, later moving to the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB).
As a staff scientist in REB, Dr. Freedman made critical contributions to numerous studies in REB, including investigations into better understanding the contribution of ultraviolet radiation exposure to risk for non-melanoma skin cancer, breast and thyroid cancers; and the association between vitamin D metabolites and cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, and prostate, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Dr. Freedman provided critical support to the development of the U.S. Radiologic Technologists cohort, a nationwide study of occupational exposures among radiologic technologists. The cohort has yielded an impressive array of data on risk factors for specific cancers as well as lifestyle factors. Dr. Freedman was a key leader in several analyses exploring potential inverse relationships between cancer and neurodegenerative diseases using SEER-Medicare data. She also developed a novel approach to use data from Medicare Part D to explore links between cancer risk and commonly used medications. In addition, Dr. Freedman served as chair of the Technical Evaluation of Questionnaires committee for 10 years, and helped numerous investigators improve their questionnaires.
“As the only DCEG investigator with extensive work experience in epidemiology and law, Dr. Freedman contributed rigorous assessment, creative solutions, and an impressive ability to clearly articulate all aspects of her research,” commented Dr. Martha Linet, senior investigator and former Chief of REB. “Her vision was one of the driving forces in reinvigorating DCEG research on ultraviolet radiation and etiology of non-melanoma skin cancer, from field work to the identification of new data sources and incisive analysis.”