WILLIAM B. GRANT, Ph.D.

WILLIAM B. GRANT, Ph.D. has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley (1971). He had a post doc position involving lasers at the Freie Universität Berlin (1971-73). He had a 30-year career in atmospheric sciences with an emphasis on developing and using laser radar (lidar) systems for remote sensing of atmospheric with positions at SRI International (1973-79), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology (1979-89) and NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia (1989-2004). In the position with NASA, he participated in many international airborne field expeditions to study the atmosphere, using a lidar system to measure the vertical profile of aerosols and ozone along the flight path.

While living in Virginia, he undertook a project with the Sierra Club to understand the roles of air pollution in reducing the health of the eastern U.S. oaks and hickories. During that project, he learned how to do ecological studies in which populations are defined geographically and both health outcomes and risk-modifying factors are averaged for each population unit, followed by statistical regression analysis.

He turned to health research in 1996, using the ecological approach to link dietary factors to risk of Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in the first paper linking diet to risk of Alzheimer’s disease (Grant, 1997). His next study, also an ecological study, found that while animal fat was an important risk factor for coronary heart disease for men, added sugar (sweeteners) was for women (Grant, 1998).

In 1999, he obtained a copy of the Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the United States, 1950-94 (NIH Publication No. 99-4564) and noticed that for many types of cancer, mortality rates were much higher in the northeast than in the southwest. Building on the work of the brothers Cedric and Frank Garland, he used NASA satellite data for solar UVB doses in July 1992 in ecological studies to show that 13 types of cancer (eight more than previously identified) had mortality rates inversely correlated with UVB doses (Grant, 2002).

After retirement from NASA in 2004, he moved to San Francisco and formed the nonprofit organization Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (www.sunarc.org). He has published several additional ecological studies related to UVB on cancers, autism, and dental caries, and several ecological studies on diet and Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis. He has also carefully examined how observational studies and randomized clinical trials are conducted regarding vitamin D, resulting in several publications pointing out limitations of such studies and how they can be improved. He also writes reviews and letters to the editor and reviews many manuscripts each year. He works closely with several vitamin D-advocacy organizations.

He has about 360 health publications listed at www.pubmed.gov, of which 260 are related to vitamin D, with 90 of these also on ultraviolet radiation and human health, and 43 on diet and disease. His works have been cited over 20,000 times according to Scholar.Google.com.

Email wbgrant@infionline.net, website www.sunarc.org.

He will speak on The role of UVB exposure and vitamin D in reducing risk or and increasing survival from cancer.

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