Contributing Experts

November 18, 2011

Edward Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D.

Dr. Giovannucci is a Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. The author of a number of peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Giovannucci's research focuses on the etiology of cancers, particularly malignancies of the colorectum and prostate. His main interest is the role of nutritional factors in influencing the occurrence or prognosis for various cancers.

His recent studies have helped clarify the causes of colorectal cancer. Dr. Giovannucci and his team have found that a diet high in red meat and alcohol, and low in folate, calcium and vitamin D increases risk of this malignancy. Also, physical activity and regular use of aspirin appear to decrease risk, while smoking and obesity increases the risk. His group has developed the link between high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors and risk of colon cancer, as well as other malignancies.

The other main area of his research involves prostate cancer. He and his research group have found that high intake of animal fats and low intake of lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes, are probably important in increasing risk of prostate cancer. They also found that obesity and physical inactivity are associated with poorer survival from prostate cancer. Dr. Giovannucci and his group collect prostate and colon tumor tissue to study the mechanisms behind these relationships in more detail.

Last Updated: May 30, 2013