John A. Milner, Ph.D.

Nutrition and Cancer Prevention

Research Area: Cancer Prevention

Portrait of John A. Milner, Ph.D.
John A. Milner, Ph.D.
Nutrition and Cancer Prevention

In the late 1970s, a U.S. Surgeon General’s report pointing to diet as an important variable in health and disease prevention set the tone across many academic institutions and industry for a new area of research, and caught the attention of John A. Milner, Ph.D., who would go on to head the Nutritional Science Research Group in the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention from 2000 to 2012.

His career-long dedication to the development of nutritional sciences for cancer prevention continues to have a major impact on the study of dietary approaches to intervene against cancer. At NCI, Dr. Milner, a nationally and internationally respected scientist, promoted molecular, pre-clinical and clinical research to determine how daily consumption of dietary components influences human health maintenance and the prevention of diseases.

He supported the promise of nutrition to prevent cancer with innovative approaches, communication initiatives, and professional training opportunities. The ongoing annual training program he established, now named in his honor, updates dietitians, physicians and graduate students on current research into diet and bioactive food components as modifiers of cancer incidence and tumor behavior. To disseminate new information more widely, he generated a listserv and newsletter that reaches about 3,000 recipients. To enhance mutual benefits between government and academic institutes, he encouraged established scientists to partner with the NCI by utilizing the one-year visiting scholar program.

To learn more about Dr. Milner, see his interview with the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum.