Shirley A. A. Beresford

Appointments and Affiliations

University of Washington
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Professor, Appointed: 1987
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Public Health Sciences Division
Cancer Prevention Research & Epidemiology
Member, Appointed: 1989
Professional Headshot of Shirley A. A. Beresford

Mailing Address

Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington
Box 357236
Seattle, Washington 98195-7236
United States


Phone: (206) 543-9512
Fax: (206) 685-9651


Ph.D., University of London, Epidemiology, 1981.
M.A., University of Cambridge, Mathematics Tripos, 1974.
M.Sc., University of Sussex, Mathematical Statistics, 1971.
B.A., University of Cambridge, Mathematics Tripos, 1970.

Research Interests

Dr. Beresford began her career as a medical statistician and then epidemiologist in London. She has published more than 20 papers or book chapters on cardiovascular disease or its risk factors, including one of the most highly cited meta-analyses of homocysteine and cardiovascular disease risk, and more than 25 papers on cancer risk. Dr. Beresford has published more than 40 papers on dietary factors, including folate status, or dietary behavior, including reducing dietary fat intake and increasing fruit and vegetable intake, out of a total of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. She has co-authored a book chapter in nutritional epidemiology. Dr. Beresford was a member of the Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health, National Academy of Sciences, 2002 - 2004, and an invited speaker at the Institute of Medicine's workshop on Managing Food-related Risks in 2005. Her research interests are in the areas of nutritional epidemiology and chronic disease prevention. Her work is specifically designed to improve the scientific basis for public health policy and recommendations concerning dietary intake, physical activity and intake of folic acid. She has been Principal Investigator on numerous individual and group randomized trials of dietary behavior intervention. In particular, Dr. Beresford has been an investigator with the Women's Health Initiative since its inception, contributing to the intervention design in the Dietary Modification trial, and is lead author of one of the primary results papers of the randomized trial, namely the low fat dietary pattern and risk of colorectal cancer.

She is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and also a member of the core faculty of the Nutritional Sciences Program, and affiliate investigator with the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit.

Dr. Beresford co-founded and teaches the course EPI 538 / NUTR 538 ''Nutritional Epidemiology'', currently offered in Autumn quarter.

Dr. Beresford chairs the social epidemiology working group in the School of Public Health, and co-teaches the course EPI 548/ HSERV 548 'Social Determinants of Health: research methods', currently offered in Winter quarter.

Additional Experience

Delta Omega Society, Theta Chapter


American Epidemiological Society
American Public Health Association
American Society of Preventive Oncology
Delta Omega Society
International Epidemiological Association
Royal Statistical Society
Society for Epidemiological Research
Society for Social Medicine

Honors and Awards

2001, Member, America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals
1999, Career Appreciation Certificate, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1997, Elected Member American Epidemiological Society
1991, Professional Advisory Council Award, Spina Bifida Association of America
1990, President's Excellence Award, Spina Bifida Association of America
1984, Outstanding Performance Award, Veterans Administration
1984, Elected Member Delta Omega Society
1967, Scholarship (not claimed), St. Hughes College, Oxford University, Mathematics

Previous Positions

1984-1987, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Epidemiology
1982-1984, Senior Research Health Scientist, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research
1982-1984, Assistant Professor, Duke University, Duke University Medical Center, Community and Family Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
1976-1982, Research Fellow, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice
1976-1982, Honorary Lecturer, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice
1971-1976, Lecturer, St. Thomas' Hospital Medical School, Medical School, Community Medicine


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Worksite Program to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake, $4,121,464, May 1, 1993 to Mar 31, 2004.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Dietary Intervention Trial in Primary Care Practices, $1,123,846, Jun 1, 1989 to Nov 30, 1993.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Folic acid intake & homocysteine: a dose-response study, $456,563, Dec 1, 1997 to Nov 30, 2002.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Components of prenatal care and low birthweight, $125,000, Aug 1, 1991 to Apr 30, 1993.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Endometrial Cancer Risk and Postmenopausal Hormone Use, $1,070,000, Apr 1, 1989 to Jun 30, 1996.
  • Department of the Environment, London, via Water Research Center: Health Aspects of Organic Compounds in Drinking Water, $60,000, Apr 1, 1980 to Mar 31, 1982.
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI): Enhancing long-term behavior change in worksites, $2,240,000, 2005 to 2009.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): Reducing obesity at the workplace: a randomized trial, $2,000,000, 2004 to 2008.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Vanguard Clinical Centers for Clinical Trial and Observational Study of the Women's Health Initiative/West, $7,742,593, 1993 to 2010.

Recent Publications

Molina Y, Beresford SAA, Hayes Constant T, Thompson B.  2017.  Conversations about Abnormal Mammograms on Distress and Timely Follow-up Across Ethnicity.. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education. 32(2):320-327. Abstract
Coronado GD, Beresford SAA, McLerran D, Jimenez R, Patrick DL, Ornelas I, Bishop S, Scheel JR, Thompson B.  2016.  Multilevel Intervention Raises Latina Participation in Mammography Screening: Findings from ¡Fortaleza Latina!. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 25(4):584-92. Abstract

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