The first African American woman to earn a doctorate in epidemiology in the United States, Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D., also earned other firsts along the way to national prominence. In 1995, for example, as director of the Howard University Cancer Center in Washington D.C., she became the first Black woman to head a cancer center.
That same year, she and Dr. Lynn Rosenberg from Boston University Medical School, teamed up to launch the first massive study of health in Black American women, the Black Women’s Health Study. In the 25-year cohort study, which is ongoing, the two scientists have collected data from over 59,000 women, illustrating, among other findings, that racially based health disparities contributed to their higher risk for developing breast cancers.
Early in her career, Dr. Adams-Campbell was drawn to other healthcare inequities that disproportionately affected both African American women and men and developed over the years lifestyle interventions that might lower the disease risk. Her expertise in this evolving area of research led to her induction into the National Academy of Medicine and also the D.C. Hall of Fame.
In March 2021, Dr. Adams-Campbell, Professor of Oncology and Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Society of Preventive Oncology. Dr Fraumeni, a giant presence in cancer prevention research at the National Cancer Institute for more than 50 years, with NCI researcher Frederick P. Li, helped discover a rare, inherited cancer syndrome that today bears their names.
One of Dr. Adams-Campbell’s most recent accomplishments is her role as the Principal Investigator for the National Capital Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program. The program includes cancer prevention research and is committed to integrating health disparities research questions across all studies in the network.
To learn more about Dr. Adams-Campbell, visit: her Georgetown page.