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Blair Aaron Earl

E-mail: Blaira@Mail.Nih.Gov

Dr. Blair is a Senior Investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute. He was Chief of this group for over 25 years until he stepped down in September, 2004. His research has focused on cancer risks from agricultural exposures, industrial chemicals, physical inactivity, occupational exposures among women, methodolologic issues in occupational epidemiology, and molecular epidemiology. He has over 300 publications. He has evaluated environmental, occupational, and biologic risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. His case-control studies of these cancers were the first to obtain detailed information from farmers on pesticides used and application practices. This work has culminated the development of the Agricultural Health Study, a long-term prospective study of 90,000 farmers and their spouses in Iowa and North Carolina, designed to investigate cancer and other diseases associated with agricultural exposures and rural lifestyle factors. His studies of cancer mortality among workers exposed to the important industrial chemicals formaldehyde and acrylonitrile were among the first to employ sophisticated algorithms to develop quantitative estimates of exposure in multi-company studies. He has evaluated cancer risks among women in studies of dry cleaners and aircraft maintenance workers. Methodologic studies have focused on confounding, meta-analysis, and misclassification in exposure assessment. Molecular epidemiology studies have focused on intermediate markers associated with pesticide exposure, chromosomal translocations and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among farmers. Dr. Blair has served on IARC Monograph Working Groups, Environmental Protection Science Advisory Panel Subgroup, National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Advisors, and on Organizing Committees for Conferences on Assessment of Smoking in Occupational Studies, Exposure Assessment in Occupational Investigations, and Physical Activity and Cancer. He has won a number of awards including the Harriet Barr Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, the John R. Goldsmith Award for outstanding contributions to environmental epidemiology from the International Society of Environmental Epidemiologists, the H.A. Tyroler Award Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina Department of Epidemiology, the Exemplary Service Award from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Cancer Institute, the PHS Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Public Health Service, and the NIH Director’s Award for development of a program of studies on occupational cancer. He has served on Editorial Boards of the American Journal of Epidemiology, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, and the Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. Dr. Blair is a member of the American Epidemiological Society, Collegium Ramizzini, and International Society of Environmental Epidemiologists, and he is a Fellow and past Board Member of the American College of Epidemiology.

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