Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology
Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD
Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts received the American Diabetes Association’s prestigious 2010 Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology. The award was presented at the Association’s 70th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida June 25-29.
The Kelly West Award is given in memory of Kelly West, widely regarded as the “father of diabetes epidemiology.” Each year, the award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes epidemiology, including scientific publications and teaching experience.
Dr. Hu is currently Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He is the principal investigator of the diabetes component of the Nurses’ Health Study. Dr. Hu is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on diabetes epidemiology, especially in the area of nutrition, lifestyle, and gene-environment interactions.
After completing his medical training in China, Dr. Hu received his PhD in epidemiology in the United States and established an independent program in diabetes epidemiology at Harvard. Dr. Hu conducted the first prospective cohort study to quantify the magnitude of diabetes risk reduction through diet and lifestyle modification, and reported that a majority of cases can be attributed to lifestyle factors (smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and overweight).
Over the past decade, Dr. Hu’s research group has conducted detailed examinations of the associations between dietary and lifestyle factors (including sugar-sweetened beverages, moderate-intensity physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and short sleep duration) and risk of diabetes and its cardiovascular complications. These findings have contributed to current public health recommendations for diabetes prevention. He is collaborating with researchers from China and India in diabetes epidemiologic and intervention studies, and his efforts have brought attention to the growing epidemics of obesity and diabetes and have influenced global public health strategies.
Dr. Hu has published more than 400 original papers and reviews. He has served on the editorial board of Diabetes Care and on the Expert Panel on Obesity Treatment and Prevention Guidelines of the NHLBI. He is the author of the textbook Obesity Epidemiology. He is highly sought after as a mentor/advisor by junior faculty, visiting international scholars, and students, many of whom have assumed faculty and leadership positions in top-tier national and international institutions.