Devra Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Designated a National Book Award Finalist for When Smoke Ran Like Water (2002, Basic Books), Devra Davis founded Environmental Health Trust in 2007 in Teton County, Wyoming to provide basic research and education about environmental health hazards and promote constructive policies locally, nationally and internationally.

DevraDavis_Bookjacket Dr. Davis lectures at Georgetown, Harvard, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and other universities, and was Founding Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Professor of Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health (2004-2009). Dr. Davis also was the founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the U.S. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences and Scholar in Residence, 1983-1993. Her books,The Secret History of the War on Cancer and the recent Disconnect, have received respective acclaim from Newsweek and TIME Magazine.

President Clinton appointed the Honorable Dr. Davis to the newly established Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (1994-99). As the former Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, she has counseled leading officials in the United States, United Nations, European Environment Agency, Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization, and World Bank and served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the U.S. National Toxicology Program, 1983-86. She also served as a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the group awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with the Honorable Al Gore.

Dr. Davis holds a B.S. in physiological psychology and a M.A. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, 1967. She completed a Ph.D. in science studies at the University of Chicago as a Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellow, 1972  and a M.P.H. in epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University as a Senior National Cancer Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1982. Dr. Davis has also authored more than 190 publications in books and journals ranging from the Lancet and Journal of the American Medical Association to Scientific American and the New York Times and blogs in Freakonomics for the New York Times, Huffington Post and elsewhere. She occasionally discusses avoidable environmental health hazards  on national and local programming with NPR, Fox News, CNN, ABC, PBS, BBC.

Honored for her research and public policy work by various national and international groups, Dr. Davis has been a Fellow of both the American Colleges of Toxicology and of Epidemiology. She was honored by the Betty Ford Comprehensive Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society with the Breast Cancer Awareness Award, commended by the Director of the National Cancer Institute for Outstanding Service, and appointed a Global Environmental advisor to Newsweek Magazine.

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Biography © 2012 Devra Davis; Photo © Paula Beezhold.

Articles at HMDI:

Through exploration of the Interphone study in Cell Phones and Brain Cancer, Dr. Davis reminds us why and how we need to “practice safer phone.” In Off Target in the War on Cancer, she casts light on the need for a societal change of focus: from simply treating the manifestation of cancer, to preventing it through better understanding of its causes. In Save the Males, she discusses the sperm-damaging impact of microwave radiation.

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