Melinda Irwin appointed Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology

Melinda Irwin
Melinda Irwin

Melinda Irwin, whose research is focused on the areas of energy balance and cancer prevention and prognosis, has been appointed the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology, effective Feb. 20. 

Irwin is associate dean of research and professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, associate director (population sciences) in the Yale Cancer Center (YCC), and deputy director (public health) in the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation.

Nationally, she co-leads the SWOG Cancer Research Network Cancer Survivorship Committee.

A prominent leader in the field of cancer prevention and control research, her research over the past 20 years has focused on randomized trials of modifiable lifestyle behaviors including weight, exercise and nutrition on cancer biological markers, treatment side effects and quality of life in cancer patients and survivors. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the American Institute for Cancer Research, Komen for the Cure, and the Livestrong Foundation. She is currently leading a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded clinical trial examining the impact of nutrition and exercise on improving chemotherapy completion rate, endocrine therapy adherence, biomarkers, body composition, and quality of life in women beginning chemotherapy for breast cancer. 

Irwin, who is committed to training the next generation of scientists, is currently leading an NCI T32-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program for pre- and post-doctoral fellows and an NCI R25-funded Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Training Program for early career investigators. At Yale, she has advised, mentored, and trained more than 100 trainees. In 2018, she completed the year-long Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program. Her experience working across departments, schools, and with interdisciplinary groups of investigators has strengthened her skills in training and mentorship.

She completed her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary, a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington, and received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.

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