Walter C. Willett
Primary Faculty

Walter C. Willett

Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition


Other Positions

Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Epidemiology


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H., is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Willett studied food science at Michigan State University, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School before obtaining a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Willett has focused much of his work over the last 40 years on the development and evaluation of methods, using both questionnaire and biochemical approaches, to study the effects of diet on the occurrence of major diseases. He has applied these methods starting in 1980 in the Nurses' Health Studies I and II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Together, these cohorts that include nearly 300,000 men and women with repeated dietary assessments, are providing the most detailed information on the long-term health consequences of food choices.

Dr. Willett has published over 2,000 original research papers and reviews, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease, cancer, and other conditions and has written the textbook, Nutritional Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press, now in its third edition. He also has written four books for the general public. Dr. Willett is the most cited nutritionist internationally. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of many national and international awards for his research.


A genome-wide gene-environment interaction study of breast cancer risk for women of European ancestry.

Middha P, Wang X, Behrens S, Bolla MK, Wang Q, Dennis J, Michailidou K, Ahearn TU, Andrulis IL, Anton-Culver H, Arndt V, Aronson KJ, Auer PL, Augustinsson A, Baert T, Freeman LEB, Becher H, Beckmann MW, Benitez J, Bojesen SE, Brauch H, Brenner H, Brooks-Wilson A, Campa D, Canzian F, Carracedo A, Castelao JE, Chanock SJ, Chenevix-Trench G, Cordina-Duverger E, Couch FJ, Cox A, Cross SS, Czene K, Dossus L, Dugué PA, Eliassen AH, Eriksson M, Evans DG, Fasching PA, Figueroa JD, Fletcher O, Flyger H, Gabrielson M, Gago-Dominguez M, Giles GG, González-Neira A, Grassmann F, Grundy A, Guénel P, Haiman CA, Håkansson N, Hall P, Hamann U, Hankinson SE, Harkness EF, Holleczek B, Hoppe R, Hopper JL, Houlston RS, Howell A, Hunter DJ, Ingvar C, Isaksson K, Jernström H, John EM, Jones ME, Kaaks R, Keeman R, Kitahara CM, Ko YD, Koutros S, Kurian AW, Lacey JV, Lambrechts D, Larson NL, Larsson S, Le Marchand L, Lejbkowicz F, Li S, Linet M, Lissowska J, Martinez ME, Maurer T, Mulligan AM, Mulot C, Murphy RA, Newman WG, Nielsen SF, Nordestgaard BG, Norman A, O'Brien KM, Olson JE, Patel AV, Prentice R, Rees-Punia E, Rennert G, Rhenius V, Ruddy KJ, Sandler DP, Scott CG, Shah M, Shu XO, Smeets A, Southey MC, Stone J, Tamimi RM, Taylor JA, Teras LR, Tomczyk K, Troester MA, Truong T, Vachon CM, Wang SS, Weinberg CR, Wildiers H, Willett W, Winham SJ, Wolk A, Yang XR, Zamora MP, Zheng W, Ziogas A, Dunning AM, Pharoah PDP, García-Closas M, Schmidt MK, Kraft P, Milne RL, Lindström S, Easton DF, Chang-Claude J.

Breast Cancer Res. 2023 08 09. 25(1):93. PMID: 37559094