Shirley A. A. Beresford

Professor Emeritus, Epidemiology

School of Public Health
Box 357230
F-358 B Health Sciences Building
Seattle, WA 98195-7236


Research Interests

Dr. Beresford's 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 levels. She has been Principal Investigator on numerous individual and group randomized trials of dietary behavior intervention.

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 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. She served as President of the American Epidemiological Society from 2007 to 2008.

In 2015, she was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Her research focus in the science of changing behavior on a population level has involved many interdisciplinary collaborations. The development and evaluation of obesity prevention interventions in worksites, using rigorous group randomized trial design and collaborative principles with participating worksites, provides one such example. She remains active in worksite based health promotion research, in methodological studies related to nutrition and physical activity assessment, and has NCI funding in health disparities research in cancer population based studies, including working with Latinas and Native Americans.


PhD Epidemiology, University of London (UK), 1981

MSc Mathematical Statistics, University of Sussex (UK), 1971

BA/MA Mathematics, University of Cambridge, 1974

In the News

Study shows diet soda linked to increased risk of stroke
KUOW, 02/21/2019

Diet drinks linked to high risk of stroke, heart attacks
SPH News, 02/14/2019

New evidence links neighborhood environment to mental health
SPH News, 03/13/2018

Six UW faculty elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences
UW News, 07/28/2017

Increasing vegetation through education
The Daily, 05/15/2017

UW Project Boosts Health through Community Gardens in Navajo Nation
SPH News, 03/02/2017

Changing to low-fat diet improved quality of life in older women
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 03/08/2016

Distinguished faculty inducted into Washington State Academy of Sciences
UW Today, 07/22/2015

Walkable Neighborhoods May Not Increase Walking
Health & Place, 04/19/2013

School Awards Pilot Grants To Meet Challenges of 21st Century
SPH News, 09/26/2012