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Rachel Ballard-Barbash

Photograph of Rachel Ballard-Barbash

Rachel Ballard-Barbash, MD, MPH, serves as the Associate Director of the Applied Research Program in DCCPS at NCI. The program's mission is to understand how and why cancer care and control activities in the United States influence patterns of care and trends in cancer burden through evaluation of patterns and trends in cancer-associated health behaviors and risk factors, health care services, economics, and outcomes, including patient-reported outcomes. Her own research focuses in the areas of physical activity, diet and weight at the individual, population, and policy level, and cancer quality of care in the area of screening and treatment. She has also focused on improving methods and systems for tracking cancer preventive measures in national and local populations, and on examining the delivery of health care utilization and services in screening and treatment.

Dr. Ballard-Barbash received her MD from the University of Michigan in 1981 and her MPH in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota in 1985. She trained in internal medicine at Northwestern University, and in preventive medicine and clinical nutrition at the Mayo Clinic. Following her training, Dr. Ballard-Barbash developed a clinical nutrition care program within a multi-specialty clinic prior to joining NCI in 1987 as a staff fellow. Before her present position at NCI, she served as the DHHS nutrition policy advisor in the Assistant Secretary's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in 1990 and 1991 before returning to the NCI.

She has published widely in the areas of diet, physical activity, weight and cancer risk and prognosis, and in the areas of cancer control surveillance and breast cancer screening and treatment within clinical care. She is an author and co-author of over 180 peer-reviewed publications and seven invited book chapters. In addition to her research, she has participated in the development and review of both general population and cancer-specific reviews and guidelines related to diet, physical activity, and weight at the national and international level. She was the NCI program director for the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium from 1995 to 2005, and has served as the NCI director of the International Cancer Screening Network since 1995. She directs the Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study of Breast Cancer Prognosis. She leads an NCI effort to advance research on the combined effects of diet, physical activity, and weight on cancer, serves on the Senior Leadership Group for the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, and advances NIH's research in the NIH/CDC/RWJF National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) to advance research that identifies population-level solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic.

Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014