Alpa V. Patel, PhD

Strategic Director, Cancer Prevention Study-3

Alpa V. Patel is a cancer epidemiologist and strategic director of the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) at the American Cancer Society. Patel serves as the principal investigator of CPS-3 and is responsible for directing study operations.

Patel's research focuses on lifestyle determinants of cancer risk and prevention, with a particular emphasis on the role of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and obesity in relation to cancer and overall longevity. Her research has contributed significantly to the scientific evidence in this area as is evident from her participation in the American Cancer Society Guidelines for Nutrition and Physical Activity (2012) and serving as an author of the chapter on Physical Activity and Cancer in the 4th edition of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention (Schottenfeld and Fraumeni, eds), a text in cancer epidemiology.

Patel has served on various review committees for the National Institutes of Health, Cancer Research UK, and other research agencies. As the principal investigator of one of the largest contemporary population studies in the US, she also serves as a scientific advisor to various other prospective cohort studies and biobank initiatives.

Prior to her current position, Patel began her career at the American Cancer Society as a research analyst in 1997, and returned following her doctoral training to conduct research within the Cancer Prevention Study-II in the area of physical activity.

Patel has authored well over 100 peer-reviewed publications, including numerous invited book chapters and reviews.


  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, 2002-2005
  • Ph.D., Epidemiology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2002
  • MPH, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1997