David J. Hunter
Emeritus Faculty

David J. Hunter

Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention, Emeritus



Other Positions

Professor of Medicine, Emeritus


Harvard Medical School


David Hunter's principal research interests are the etiology of cancer in women, particularly breast, ovarian, and skin cancer. He is an investigator on the Nurses' Health Study, a long-running cohort of 121,000 US women, and is project director for the Nurses' Health Study II, a newer cohort of 116,000 women. He also analyzes inherited susceptibility to cancer and other chronic diseases using molecular techniques and studying molecular markers of environmental exposures. This work is based in subcohorts of the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study of approximately 33,000 women and 18,000 men who have given a blood sample that can be used for DNA analysis. Dr. Hunter supervises laboratories at the Harvard School of Public Health in which gene sequence information from these samples is obtained. He is Co-Chair of the NCI Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium. He collaborates with investigators in Tanzania to understand the relationship of nutritional status to progression of HIV disease and perinatal transmission. Professor Hunter was the Director of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention from 1997-2003, and is now Director of the Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health.

MB, BS, 1982
University of Sydney Medical School

MPH, 1985
Harvard School of Public Health

ScD, 1988
Harvard School of Public Health


Distinct reproductive risk profiles for intrinsic-like breast cancer subtypes: pooled analysis of population-based studies.

Jung AY, Ahearn TU, Behrens S, Middha P, Bolla MK, Wang Q, Arndt V, Aronson KJ, Augustinsson A, Beane Freeman LE, Becher H, Brenner H, Canzian F, Carey LA, Czene K, Eliassen AH, Eriksson M, Evans DG, Figueroa JD, Fritschi L, Gabrielson M, Giles GG, Guénel P, Hadjisavvas A, Haiman CA, Håkansson N, Hall P, Hamann U, Hoppe R, Hopper JL, Howell A, Hunter DJ, Hüsing A, Kaaks R, Kosma VM, Koutros S, Kraft P, Lacey JV, Le Marchand L, Lissowska J, Loizidou MA, Mannermaa A, Maurer T, Murphy RA, Olshan AF, Olsson H, Patel AV, Perou CM, Rennert G, Shibli R, Shu XO, Southey MC, Stone J, Tamimi RM, Teras LR, Troester MA, Truong T, Vachon CM, Wang SS, Wolk A, Wu AH, Yang XR, Zheng W, Dunning AM, Pharoah PDP, Easton DF, Milne RL, Chatterjee N, Schmidt MK, García-Closas M, Chang-Claude J.

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 Jun 20. PMID: 35723569

Pollution and health: a progress update.

Fuller R, Landrigan PJ, Balakrishnan K, Bathan G, Bose-O'Reilly S, Brauer M, Caravanos J, Chiles T, Cohen A, Corra L, Cropper M, Ferraro G, Hanna J, Hanrahan D, Hu H, Hunter D, Janata G, Kupka R, Lanphear B, Lichtveld M, Martin K, Mustapha A, Sanchez-Triana E, Sandilya K, Schaefli L, Shaw J, Seddon J, Suk W, Téllez-Rojo MM, Yan C.

Lancet Planet Health. 2022 06. 6(6):e535-e547. PMID: 35594895

Genome-wide interaction analysis of menopausal hormone therapy use and breast cancer risk among 62,370 women.

Wang X, Kapoor PM, Auer PL, Dennis J, Dunning AM, Wang Q, Lush M, Michailidou K, Bolla MK, Aronson KJ, Murphy RA, Brooks-Wilson A, Lee DG, Cordina-Duverger E, Guénel P, Truong T, Mulot C, Teras LR, Patel AV, Dossus L, Kaaks R, Hoppe R, Lo WY, Brüning T, Hamann U, Czene K, Gabrielson M, Hall P, Eriksson M, Jung A, Becher H, Couch FJ, Larson NL, Olson JE, Ruddy KJ, Giles GG, MacInnis RJ, Southey MC, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Haiman CA, Olsson H, Augustinsson A, Krüger U, Wagner P, Scott C, Winham SJ, Vachon CM, Perou CM, Olshan AF, Troester MA, Hunter DJ, Eliassen HA, Tamimi RM, Brantley K, Andrulis IL, Figueroa J, Chanock SJ, Ahearn TU, García-Closas M, Evans GD, Newman WG, van Veen EM, Howell A, Wolk A, Håkansson N, Anton-Culver H, Ziogas A, Jones ME, Orr N, Schoemaker MJ, Swerdlow AJ, Kitahara CM, Linet M, Prentice RL, Easton DF, Milne RL, Kraft P, Chang-Claude J, Lindström S.

Sci Rep. 2022 04 13. 12(1):6199. PMID: 35418701


Dozens of new genetic regions linked to breast cancer

Two studies represent the largest-ever examination of the inherited genetic contribution to the risk of getting breast cancer For immediate release: October 23, 2017 Boston, MA – Two large genome-wide association studies of thousands of women have identified…