Researcher’s Profile

Alfred I. Neugut, MD, PhD


Myron M. Studner Professor of Cancer Research and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Columbia University, Associate Director for Population Science, Leader of the Prevention, Control, and Disparities Program for the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia, and Co-Director of the Cancer Prevention Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital

Dr. Neugut is a medical oncologist with a particular interest in gastroIntestinal tract cancers, especially of colorectal and gasteric cancers. Under the auspices of Columbia's MD/PhD program, he received his MD and a Ph.D. in Pathobiology in 1977. He did his training in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and fellowship in Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He returned to Columbia University as an Andrew Mellon Fellow in Epidemiology and Medicine to obtain an M.P.H. in Epidemiology in 1983. Dr. Neugut then joined the faculty at Columbia University with appointments in Medicine and Epidemiology.

Research Statement: 

Dr. Neugut's research has centered on cancer epidemiology and prevention. He initiated a series of important studies focused on risk factors for the occurrence and recurrence of colorectal adenomatous polyps (adenomas). These studies have extended into the use and yield of colonoscopy and fecal occult blood testing for routine screening and diagnosis. An editorial by Dr. Neugut in 1988 was the first to suggest the use of colonoscopy for routine screening of asymptomatic adults, a common practice now.

Dr. Neugut's second major research focus was the occurrence of second malignancies, especially the impact of radiation therapy. For example, he has found elevated risks of lung cancer and esophageal cancer following breast cancer radiotherapy and of bladder cancer following prostate cancer radiotherapy. Other areas of cancer epidemiology to which he has contributed include cancers of the small bowel, gallbladder, and biliary tree. Dr. Neugut serves as co-principal Investigator of the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project.

At the present time, a significant amount of Dr. Neugut's research is centered on studying the quality of care in the use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer in the elderly and others. Racial/ethnic variations in quality of cancer care and outcomes are also research interests as are adherence to treatment and long-term sequelae of cancer therapies.

For the past 15 years Dr. Neugut has served as principal investigator of an NCI-funded Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health Sciences. He is the former President of the American Society of Preventive Oncology, probably the leading U.S. organization for research ion cancer epidemiology and prevention. He has served on numerous study sections and review committees, both at NIH and elsewhere.