Professor Tim Key

Deputy Unit Director, Professor of Epidemiology

Tim has studied veterinary medicine, nutrition and epidemiology. His main interests are the roles of diet and sex hormones in the aetiology of cancer, particularly cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. Recent papers have shown that breast cancer risk is strongly related to the serum concentration of oestradiol, that vegetarian diets reduce the incidence of ischaemic heart disease but not colorectal cancer, and that diets containing only plant proteins reduce insulin-like growth factor-I, a growth factor that may be important in the development of several types of cancer. Timothy Key works mostly on the EPIC European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, as the principal investigator of the Oxford cohort of 65,000 participants and the chairman of the EPIC prostate cancer group. He also co-ordinates the Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group, which conducts pooled analyses of prospective data on endogenous hormones and breast cancer risk, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. He joined the Unit in 1985.

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