Recipient of Yale's First C-E.A. Winslow Medal First Identified Smoking as Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

Cancer epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll, who was the first to identify smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer, will receive the C-E.A. Winslow Medal from Yale University Oct. 19.

The award is the first Winslow medal conferred by the School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. The presentation will be made as part of Yale’s Tercentennial celebration. Doll, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, will present a lecture on the topic “Causality in Medicine: Deduction from Epidemiological Evidence.”

The C-E.A. Winslow Medal and Lecture commemorates the contributions of Charles-Edward Amory Winslow to public health in America. In 1915, Winslow established at Yale one of the first public health programs in the United States. A Yale professor for 30 years, he also chaired the public health program. The Winslow Medal will be given to individuals who exemplify the former faculty member’s ideals, especially his concern for social factors affecting health.

Doll, 87, is being honored for his lifetime achievements in epidemiology and public health, particularly his role in establishing the link between smoking and lung cancer 50 years ago. Together with Austin Bradford Hill, a medical statistician, he was the first to publish data on the link.

Since then, in over 400 publications, Doll has made major contributions to an understanding of peptic ulcer disease, the role of radiation on leukemia and on the survivors of Hiroshima, the viral etiology of congenital malformalities, the health effects of oral contraception and the role of occupational and environmental factors on disease, including the link between asbestos and lung cancer. Another area of his study has been the connection between diet and heart disease.

Formerly the director of the United Kingdom Medical Research Council’s Statistical Unit, Doll was appointed the Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford in 1969. At Oxford, he also directed the Cancer Epidemiology and Clinical Trials Unit, and has continued to work with the unit since his retirement as a professor in 1983. He has received many honors for his work, including the United Nations Award for Cancer Research, the British Medical Association’s Gold Medal and the Royal Society’s Royal Medal. In addition, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1966 and was knighted in 1971.

Doll will receive the award at 3 p.m. in Harkness Auditorium of the School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St. A reception will follow. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public; those planning to attend are asked to call (203) 785-3650.

Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with LinkedIn Share this with Email Print this