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W. Ryan Diver, MSPH

Data Analysis

close up portrait of W. Ryan Diver, MSPH Director, Epidemiology Data Analysis Core

What I'm Passionate About

I'm interested in how the environment affects cancer risk. For example, the air we breathe has changed over time, impacting how our bodies work, and those changes can increase the risk of developing cancer. Environmental changes affect everyone. So it’s essential that we understand even small increases in risk as they can add up and have a large impact on all of society.”

At ACS since 2002

As Director of the Data Analysis group, Ryan Diver, MSPH, leads a team of 8 masters-level scientists responsible for statistical analysis in the Population Science department at the American Cancer Society (ACS). His team specializes in a variety of analysis techniques and programming languages. One of his primary duties is to support the analytics process for all behavioral and epidemiology research studies, ensuring they have adequate expertise, support, and resources to analyze their data. 

Diver also conducts research about environmental exposures to carcinogens, the use of tobacco, and their effects on cancer. He provides leadership in these areas and statistical methods for the population science team.

Research focus and accomplishments

Diver is particularly interested in studying inhaled pollutants and other chemical exposures. He aims to improve our understanding of how they affect the risk for developing cancer in the general population. 

While Diver has conducted research on many types of cancer, he has the most experience with breast cancer and hematopoietic cancers. He’s also been active for many years on large genomics consortia related to these cancers.

In 2018, he published the first paper to identify an association of childhood exposure to secondhand smoke with death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as an adult in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Diver actively collaborates on research that’s critical to decisions made about air pollution regulations in both the United States and around the world. Examples of this work include: 

Beyond his research activities, Diver serves on scientific panels related to cancer and environmental exposures. He was:


For a full list of Diver's publications, visit her Google Scholar page.  


Work before ACS

I’m an ACS “lifer.”


  • MSPH: Epidemiology and Environmental/Occupational Health, Emory University, 2002
  • BS: Biology and Biological Anthropology, Emory University, 1998

Personal life

When it comes to cancer research, Ryan has an “eye for an eye” mentality. Cancer took his eye when he was a child and now he’s getting it back—by reducing its effects worldwide! He enjoys reading, hiking, travelling, and playing soccer (with his kids and his team). He also loves cheering on Philly sports teams.