About this Program: Directors and Core Leaders

Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD

Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, is the associate director for Etiology and Prevention Research at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. Dr. Kushi graduated from Amherst College and the Harvard School of Public Health.

For the Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health (RPGEH), Dr. Kushi co-leads the Access and Collaborations Core with Mary Henderson, Managing Director of the RPGEH. The Access and Collaborations Core is in charge of developing and implementing policies and procedures that govern the use by scientists and researchers of RPGEH data, specimens, and other materials.

Dr. Kushi is internationally recognized for his expertise in nutritional epidemiology, and his research interests have generally focused on the role of diet, nutrition, and lifestyle factors in the etiology of cancer. His current research program includes three principal areas, anchored by three key research projects. The first is in the epidemiology of breast cancer prognosis, in which he leads a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded prospective study in this area, examining lifestyle, molecular, and health care factors in recurrence and survival after breast cancer. Related studies are examining questions such as racial disparities in breast cancer prognosis, breast cancer care in older breast cancer patients, comorbid conditions such as lymphedema, and molecular categorization of breast tumors and their relation to prognosis. The second is focused on a prospective study of early puberty and development in girls; this study is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the NCI. Related studies are examining built environment characteristics as they relate to body size and onset of puberty, and are exploring additional environmental biomarkers that may influence pubertal timing. The third revolves around the NCI-supported Cancer Research Network, which provides infrastructure support for research in various aspects of cancer across 14 health maintenance organizations. Related projects are examining questions in treatment of advanced cancers, and in the use of clinical genetic tests in colorectal cancer care.

Dr. Kushi has served on a grant review committees for the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense's Breast Cancer Research Program, and other organizations. He has served on and chaired American Cancer Society committees to develop guidelines for the dietary prevention and management of cancer. He was formerly the chair of the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association and on the executive committee of the American Society of Preventive Oncology. Prior to joining the Division of Research, Dr. Kushi was at Columbia University, where he held the Ella McCollum Vahlteich Chair in Human Nutrition in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, and he was a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He has also worked previously at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and currently is an Adjunct Professor in the UC Davis School of Medicine.