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Marjorie McCullough, ScD

Strategic Director, Nutritional Epidemiology


Dr. McCullough is a nutritional epidemiologist who joined the ACS Epidemiology Research Program in 1999. She oversees dietary assessment and analysis of dietary data in the Cancer Prevention Studies, and is co-PI of an ongoing biomarker- and recall-based study to validate ACS’s recently modified dietary instrument tailored to the newly enrolled CPS-3 cohort.

McCullough’s research focuses on the role of vitamin D, dietary patterns, and adherence to dietary and lifestyle guidelines in reducing cancer incidence and improving survival. She is currently on the Steering Committee of the NCI-funded, Harvard-based Vitamin D Pooling Project (VDPP) of Breast and Colorectal Cancer, a collaboration of 21 prospective cohorts with pre-diagnostic blood-based vitamin D biomarkers. She serves as a collaborator on the Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer Cohorts, in addition to several other external collaborations. In a 2011 publication in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, she and her colleagues illustrated the lifesaving potential of following the ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: CPS-II cohort participants whose behaviors were most closely aligned with ACS’s diet, physical activity, alcohol and body weight recommendations had a 42% lower risk of death from any cause, and a 24-30% lower risk of death from cancer.

As a recognized expert in the field of diet, lifestyle and cancer, she served on the Advisory Panel for the NCI Diet Patterns Methods Project, and on the US team evaluating the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research systematic literature review methodology. McCullough participated on numerous ACS Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines committees both for cancer prevention and survival, and works with ACS’s sister advocacy organization, Cancer Action Network, on positions involving nutrition policies impacting cancer prevention and control. In recent years, she was an invited speaker at several international conferences, including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Institute for Cancer Research, Experimental Biology, the Nutrition and Health Conference, and at the Swedish Karolinska Institute. McCullough is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in the departments of Epidemiology, Global Health and the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program, where she teaches and mentors doctoral students.

Prior to joining ACS, Dr. McCullough was employed at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, where she was a co-investigator on the multicenter Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (“DASH”) feeding trial that found that a mineral-rich, high plant-food dietary pattern was as effective at lowering blood pressure as drug monotherapy.

McCullough has authored over 175 peer reviewed publications, in addition to several invited commentaries, book chapters and reviews.

• Michigan State University, BS Dietetics, 1983
• Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, MS Dietetics, 1986
• Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ScD Nutritional Epidemiology, 1999