Biography

Ailsa is a reader in nutritional epidemiology involved in research and teaching at UEA since 2007. Before this she was a key researcher at the University of Cambridge with the European Prospective Investigations into Cancer Study, for 15 years. Ailsa was previously an information scientist at the Royal Society of Chemistry in Cambridge, publishing the UK food composition databases, and a research nutritionist at the MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Unit, Cambridge. She was also at King’s College London, based in Somalia and Nigeria. Ailsa practiced as a senior dietitian in Kent and East Anglia for four years.

Ailsa’s research focuses on understanding the importance of nutrition to ageing, with particular emphasis on musculoskeletal health (osteoporosis, fractures, sarcopenia & age-related loss of skeletal mass & function) and dietary fat & protein composition, micronutrients, dietary patterns and acid-base balance. She also researches dietary methodologies and translation of epidemiology into public health and has a long-term collaborative project evaluating public health interventions. She has over 180 publications and an H Index of 69.

Ailsa was co-lead of the Metabolic and Endocrine group of the Norfolk and Suffolk Comprehensive Local Research Network and a member of the national group (between 2008 and 2014) and was co-lead for the Eastern region until 2015. She is an adviser to the UK government for dietary surveys and is chair of the Health & Lifestyle forum and a member of the scientific advisory committee for the National Osteoporosis Society. She is the Public Health Nutrition Theme Lead for the UK Nutrition Society and was previously a member of the Council.

Academic Background

DPHIL, University of Ulster (2005)

BSc Hons in Nutrition, 2:1 with Eligibility for state registration in dietetics, merit  (1977)

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice 2009

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2009-present)

State Registered Dietitian (SRD) No. DT 2305 (1977-present)

Registered Public Health Nutritionist  and member, The Association of Nutrition (1999-present)

British Nutrition Society, member (elected 1988-present). Scientific theme lead for Public Health Nutrition (2011-present). Member of the Council (2009-2012)

British Dietetic Association, member (number 1276) (1979-present)

The Association for the Study of Obesity, member (1995-2013)

The American Society for Nutrition, member (elected 2014-present)

The Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders, member (2015-present)

All Publications

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Welch, A. A., Kelaiditi, E., Jennings, A., Steves, C. J., Spector, T. D., MacGregor, A.

(2016)

Dietary magnesium is positively associated with skeletal muscle power and indices of muscle mass and may attenuate the association between circulating C-reactive protein and muscle mass in women

in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

31.

pp. 317-325

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Hayhoe, R. P., Lentjes, M. A., Luben, R. N., Khaw, K., Welch, A. A.

(2016)

Reply to W Lin and R Wang

in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

103.

pp. 290-291

Full Text

(Letter)


Kwok, C. S., Loke, Y. K., Welch, A. A., Luben, R. N., Lentjes, M. A., Boekholdt, S. M., Pfister, R., Mamas, M. A., Wareham, N. J., Khaw, K., Myint, P. K.

(2016)

Habitual chocolate consumption and the risk of incident heart failure among healthy men and women

in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases

26.

pp. 722-734

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Lentjes, M. A. H., Mulligan, A. A., Welch, A. A., Bhaniani, A., Luben, R. N., Khaw, K.

(2015)

Contribution of cod liver oil-related nutrients (vitamins A, D, E and eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) to daily nutrient intake and their associations with plasma concentrations in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort

in Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics

28.

pp. 568-582

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Lentjes, M. A. H., Welch, A. A., Keogh, R. H., Luben, R. N., Khaw, K.

(2015)

Opposites don't attract: high spouse concordance for dietary supplement use in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) cohort study

in Public Health Nutrition

18.

pp. 1060-1066

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Hayhoe, R. P., Lentjes, M. A., Luben, R. N., Khaw, K., Welch, A. A.

(2015)

Dietary magnesium and potassium intakes and circulating magnesium are associated with heel bone ultrasound attenuation and osteoporotic fracture risk in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study

in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

102.

pp. 376-384

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Levy, L. B., Welch, A. A.

(2015)

Implications of skeletal muscle loss for public health nutrition messages: a brief report

in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

74.

pp. 426-429

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Bain, L. K. M., Myint, P. K., Jennings, A., Lentjes, M. A. H., Luben, R. N., Khaw, K., Wareham, N. J., Welch, A. A.

(2015)

The relationship between dietary magnesium intake, stroke and its major risk factors, blood pressure and cholesterol, in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort

in International Journal of Cardiology

196.

pp. 108-114

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Jennings, A., MacGregor, A., Welch, A., Chowienczyk, P., Spector, T., Cassidy, A.

(2015)

Amino Acid Intake Is Inversely Associated with Arterial Stiffness and Central Blood Pressure in Women

in The Journal of Nutrition

145.

pp. 2130-2138

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Finck, H., Hart, A. R., Lentjes, M. A. H., Jennings, A., Luben, R. N., Khaw, K., Welch, A.

(2015)

Cross-sectional and prospective associations between dietary and plasma vitamin C, heel bone ultrasound, and fracture risk in men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk cohort

in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

102.

pp. 1416-1424

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Hayhoe, R., Lentjes, M., Luben, R., Khaw, K., Welch, A.

(2015)

Dietary carotenoid intake is positively associated with bone density in individuals of the EPIC-Norfolk cohort

in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

74.

pp. E354

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Hayhoe, R., Haddow, M., Shareef, J., Barnes, S., Welch, A.

(2015)

The relationship between body mass index and vitamin D status in children attending a paediatric tier 3 weight management programme

in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

74.

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Jennings, A., Macgregor, A., Welch, A., Chowienczyk, P., Spector, T., Cassidy, A.

(2015)

Amino acid intakes are inversely associated with arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women

in Journal of Nutrition

145.

pp. 2130-2138

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Lentjes, M. A. H., McTaggart, A., Mulligan, A. A., Powell, N. A., Parry-Smith, D., Luben, R. N., Bhaniani, A., Welch, A., Khaw, K.

(2014)

Dietary intake measurement using 7 d diet diaries in British men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study: a focus on methodological issues

in British Journal of Nutrition

111.

pp. 516-526

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Welch, A. A.

(2014)

Nutritional influences on age-related skeletal muscle loss

in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

73.

pp. 16-33

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Welch, A., Macgregor, A., Minihane, A., Skinner, J., Valdes, A. A., Spector, T. D., Cassidy, A.

(2014)

Dietary Fat and Fatty Acid Profile Are Associated with Indices of Skeletal Muscle Mass in Women Aged 18-79 Years

in The Journal of Nutrition

144.

pp. 327-334

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Jennings, A., Welch, A., Spector, T., Macgregor, A., Cassidy, A.

(2014)

Intakes of Anthocyanins and Flavones Are Associated with Biomarkers of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Women

in Journal of Nutrition

144.

pp. 202-208

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Welch, A. A., Hardcastle, A. C.

(2014)

The effects of flavonoids on bone

in Current Osteoporosis Reports

12.

pp. 205-10

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Finck, H., Hart, A. R., Jennings, A., Welch, A. A.

(2014)

Is there a role for vitamin C in preventing osteoporosis and fractures?: A review of the potential underlying mechanisms and current epidemiological evidence

in Nutrition Research Reviews

27.

pp. 268-283

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Weaver, C. M., Teegarden, D., Welch, A., Hwalla, N., Lelièvre, S.

(2014)

International breast cancer and nutrition: a model for research, training and policy in diet, epigenetics, and chronic disease prevention

in Advances in Nutrition

5.

pp. 566-7

UEA Repository

(Article)


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Key Research Interests

  • Nutrition and musculoskeletal health (osteoporosis, fractures, sarcopenia & age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function)
  • Diet and ageing
  • Dietary methodology
  • Dietary fat and protein composition, micronutrients, dietary patterns and acid-base load
  • Public health nutrition

Selected Publications 

Finck H, Hart A, Khaw KT, Lentjes ML, Luben R, Welch AA.

Vitamin C intake and status associated with osteoporosis and fracture risk in the EPIC-Norfolk Cohort – AJCN Accepted September 2015 IF 6.918

Welch AA, Kelaiditi E, Jennings A, Steves CS, Spector TD, MacGregor TD

Dietary magnesium is positively associated with skeletal muscle power and indices of muscle mass and may attenuate the association between circulating C-reactive protein and muscle mass in women. JBMR. Accepted August 2015 IF 6.832

Bain LK, Myint PK, Jennings A, Lentjes MA, Luben RN, Khaw KT, Wareham NJ, Welch AA.

The relationship between dietary magnesium intake, stroke and its major risk factors, blood pressure and cholesterol, in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Int J Cardiol. 2015 Oct 1;196:108-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.05.166. Epub 2015 May  31. PubMed PMID: 26082204. IF 4.036

Levy LB, Welch AA.

Implications of skeletal muscle loss for public health nutrition messages: a brief report. Proc Nutr Soc. 2015 Jun 11:1-4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26062652. IF 4.937

Hayhoe RP, Lentjes MA, Luben RN, Khaw KT, Welch AA.

Dietary magnesium and potassium intakes and circulating magnesium are associated with heel bone ultrasound attenuation and osteoporotic fracture risk in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;102(2):376-84. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.102723. Epub 2015 Jul 1.  IF 6.918

Jennings A, MacGregor A, Welch A, Chowienczyk P, Spector T, Cassidy A.

Amino Acid Intake Is Inversely Associated with Arterial Stiffness and Central Blood Pressure in Women. J Nutr. 2015 Jul 22. pii: jn214700. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26203100. IF 3.97

Finck H, Hart AR, Jennings A, Welch AA.

Is there a role for vitamin C in preventing osteoporosis and fractures? A review of the potential underlying mechanisms and current epidemiological evidence. Nutr Res Rev. 2014 Dec;27(2):268-83. IF 3.5

Weaver CM, Teegarden D, Welch A, Hwalla N, Lelièvre S.

International breast cancer and nutrition: a model for research, training and policy in diet, epigenetics, and chronic disease prevention. Adv Nutr. 2014 Sep;5(5):566-7. IF 4.7

Lentjes MA, Welch AA, Mulligan AA, Luben RN, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT.

Cod liver oil supplement consumption and health: cross-sectional results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study. Nutrients. 2014 Oct 16;6(10):4320-37. doi: 10.3390/nu6104320. IF 3.418

Lentjes MA, Welch AA, Keogh RH, Luben RN, Khaw KT.

Opposites don't attract: high spouse concordance for dietary supplement use in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) cohort study. Public Health Nutr. 2015 Apr;18(6):1060-6. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014001396. Epub 2014 Jul 30. IF 2.679

Lentjes MA, Mulligan AA, Welch AA, Bhaniani A, Luben RN, Khaw KT.

Contribution of cod liver oil-related nutrients (vitamins A, D, E and eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) to daily nutrient intake and their associations with plasma concentrations in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014 Sep 16. IF 1.987

Welch AA, Hardcastle AC.

The effects of flavonoids on bone. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2014 Jun;12(2):205-10. doi: 10.1007/s11914-014-0212-5. IF 2.728

Welch AA, MacGregor AJ, Minihane AM, Skinner J, Valdes AA, Spector TD, Cassidy A.

Dietary fat and fatty acid profile are associated with indices of skeletal muscle mass in women aged 18-79 years. J Nutr. 2014 Mar;144(3):327-34. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185256. IF 3.97

Welch AA.

Nutritional influences on age-related skeletal muscle loss. Proc Nutr Soc. 2014 Feb;73(1):16-33. IF 3.62

Jennings A, Cassidy A, Winters T, Barnes S, Lipp A, Holland R, Welch A.

Positive effect of a targeted intervention to improve access and availability of fruit and vegetables in an area of deprivation. Health Place. 2012 Sep;18(5):1074-8. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Welch A, Macgregor A, Jennings A, Fairweather-Tait S, Spector T, Cassidy A.

Habitual flavonoid intakes are positively associated with bone mineral density in women. J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Sep;27(9):1872-8.

Myint PK, Welch AA.

Healthier ageing. BMJ. 2012 Mar 12;344:e1214. doi:10.1136/bmj.e1214. PubMed PMID: 22411918.

Welch AA, Shakya-Shrestha S, Lentjes MA, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT.

Dietary intake and status of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population of fish-eating and  non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor-product ratio of ?-linolenic acid to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results  from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1040-51. Epub 2010 Sep 22. PubMed PMID: 20861171.

Welch AA, Fransen H, Jenab M, Boutron-Ruault MC, Tumino R, Agnoli C, Ericson U, Johansson I, Ferrari P, Engeset D, Lund E, Lentjes M, Key T, Touvier M, Niravong M, Larrañaga N, Rodríguez L, Ocké MC, Peeters PH, Tjønneland A, Bjerregaard L, Vasilopoulou E, Dilis V, Linseisen J, Nöthlings U, Riboli E, Slimani N, Bingham S.

Variation in intakes of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium in 10 countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;63 Suppl 4:S101-21. PubMed  PMID: 19888269.

Welch AA, Mulligan A, Bingham SA, Khaw KT. 

Urine pH is an indicator of dietary acid-base load, fruit and vegetables and meat intakes: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk population study. Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1335-43.

Welch AA, Bingham SA, Reeve J, Khaw KT. 

More acidic dietary acid-base load is associated with reduced calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation in women but not in men: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;85(4):1134-41.

Research Group Membership

  • Theme lead for ‘Public Health Nutrition’ for the Nutrition Society (elected 2011)
  • Member of the MRC National Study of Health and Development Diet Project Management Group (since 2010)
  • Member of the Nutrition and Lifestyle Forum (scientific advisory committee) the National Osteoporosis Society (elected 2009)
  • Reviewer for the Association of Nutrition (since 2010)
  • Member of the national ICGN Undergraduate Nutrition Education Implementation Group for development of nutrition education in the medical undergraduate curriculum (since 2010)
  • Judge for the best food, nutrition and health student, SET awards (since 2010)
  • Member of editorial board ‘Complete Nutrition’ (since 2009)
  • Member of editorial board ‘Nutrition Today’ (elected 2008)
  • Member of the Council of the UK Nutrition Society and member of the science committee (elected 2009)
  • Chair of British Dietetic Association Research Committee and member of Council of the BDA July 2007-October 2008. Member of the BDA Research Committee to 2010.
  • Co-lead  for the Norfolk and Suffolk Metabolic and Endocrine Specialty Group of the UK Comprehensive Local Research Network. Member of the UK National Metabolic and Endocrine Specialty Group (since 2007)
  • Member EURRECA network ‘Development of Evidence Based Recommendations for European Micronutrient Dietary Guidelines
  • Adviser for nutrition methods to the HAPPIE Study of diet, environment and lifestyle in Eastern Europe, University College, London (since 2007)
  • Member of the Expert User Group for the UK Food Standard Agency’s Composition of foods and nutrient analysis programme project (since 2009)
  • Expert advisor to the Food Standards Agency for the UK Diet and Nutrition Surveys (since 2009)
  • Member of EPIC-Norfolk Study Management Committee with responsibility for strategic and scientific direction (1993-2007)
 

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • External reviewer for 16 medical and nutrition journals
  • Reviewer of grant applications for the Food Standards Agency, the UK Department of Health, The UK Diabetic Association, The National Osteoporosis Society, The World Cancer Research Fund and The NIHR.
  • Reviewer of fellowship applications University of Cambridge Wolfson College.
  • PhD examiner for the Universities of Cambridge, Surrey, Aberdeen, Central Lancashire, Newcastle and King’s College London

Professional Activities

International invited/keynote speaker or meeting chair

·         ‘Diet and breast cancer: new approaches are necessary’, in Symposium on International Breast Cancer & Nutrition initiative, Experimental Biology, San Diego, USA, April 2014

·         Invited chair for oral presentations for the International Conference on Frailty & Sarcopenia Research, Barcelona, Spain, March 2014

·         Invited speaker ‘Measurement error issues in assessment of nutrition’, University of Purdue, USA, October 2012.

·         Invited speaker ‘Nutritional influences on age-related muscle loss’, Brazil, October 2012

·         Invited  speaker ‘The importance of α-linolenic acid as a source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in non-fish-eaters‘ Tel Aviv, Israel, February 2011

·         Invited chair for ‘Nutrition & Breast Cancer session’ and poster presentation at Symposium on Breast Cancer Prevention: Nutrition, Communication and Public Policy, University of Purdue, United States, October 2010.

·         Invited expert speakerEuropean EFCOVAL meeting ‘Over view of validation studies in relation to 24-hour recalls’, Belgium, September 2009

·         Invited speakerEuropean NUGO metabolomics meeting ‘Difficulties with dietary assessment methods and potential solutions’, Italy, September 2009

·         Invited expert speaker at European EFCOVAL meeting on ‘Dietary validation studies’, Ghent, Belgium, October 2008

·         Invited expert speaker at European EURRECA meeting on ‘Dietary assessment methods for dietary guidelines’, Prague, Czech Republic, May 2008

National invited/keynote speaker or meeting chair

·         Public Health Nutrition theme lead chair for the Nutrition Society Summer Meeting, Newcastle, UK, July 2013

·         Invited chair oral presentations, The Nutrition Society Summer Meeting, Newcastle, UK, July 2013

·         Invited chair oral presentations and poster session, The Nutrition Society Winter Meeting, London, UK, December 2012

·         Invited chair oral presentations and poster session, The Nutrition Society Annual Meeting, Belfast, UK, July 2012

·         Invited chair oral presentations and poster session, The Nutrition Society Winter Meeting, London, UK, December 2011

 Invited speaker ‘Nutritional influences on muscle and bone’, University of Aberdeen, May 2011

·         Invited chair oral presentations and poster session, The Nutrition Society Annual Meeting, Reading, UK, July 2011

·         Invited speaker ‘Food nutrition and bone health: what do we know?’ conference and chair of conference  (on behalf of National Osteoporosis Society), Leatherhead, September 2010

·         Invited speaker ‘Diet and Health’ Trading Standards Association, Edinburgh, July 2010

·         Invited speaker representing the British Dietetic Association in a joint meeting the World Health Organization and the United Kingdom Food Standards on: ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Population-based Salt Reduction Strategies’. ’How can consumer awareness be improved and help them to take action’, July 2010

·         Invited speaker CASH reception House of Commons ‘Salt and osteoporosis’, London, February 2010

·         British Dietetic Association Annual Conference (chaired 2 poster sessions), Manchester, September 2009

·         Invited speaker at 9th Nutrition and Health Conference, ‘Plant sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their importance for heart health’, London, UK, November 2008

·         Invited chair ‘Symposium on diet and cancer at the British Dietetic Association Conference, Liverpool, UK, June 2008

·         Invited speaker ‘Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cancer’, Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK, March 2008

 Other presentations 

·         Oral presentation ‘Dietary magnesium is positively associated with muscle mass which may attenuate the association between C-reactive Protein and muscle mass’, San Diego, April 2014

·         Oral presentation ‘Dietary magnesium is positively associated with muscle mass and may attenuate the association between C-reactive Protein and muscle mass’, Barcelona, March 2014

·         Speaker ‘Data sources for socio-economic determinants health & chronic disease’, UEA seminar, February 2014

·         Poster presentation: ‘Dietary fat and indices of skeletal muscle mass’, Japan December 2013

·         Speaker: ‘Nutritional influences on musculoskeletal health’, NRP Diet and Health Tea Club, September 2013

·         Speaker: ‘Fat intake and loss of  skeletal muscle’ Norfolk & Suffolk Metabolic & Endocrine Clinical Research group meeting, Norwich, February 2013

·         Oral presentation: ‘Dietary fat is associated with indexes of skeletal muscle mass’, 8th International conference on nutrition & osteoporosis, Switzerland, May 2012.

·         Speaker with Dr Alistair Lipp ‘Developing Academic – Service relationships’, ERPHO meeting, Ely, July 2011

·         Speaker ‘The importance of α-linolenic acid in non-fish-eaters’ Norfolk & Suffolk Metabolic & Endocrine Clinical Research group meeting, Norwich, February 2011

·         Nutrition Society oral presentation ‘Dietary fat is associated with indexes of skeletal muscle mass’, Reading, UK, July 2011

  • -- Invited expert attendance, opinions and consultations --
  • Invited attendance ‘MRC pooling dietary cohorts meeting’, Cambridge (June 2011)
  • Launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group (APPOG), House of Commons (June 2011)
  • Invited contributor nutritional methods development for ‘Novel assessment of nutrition and ageing’ project (July 2009)
  • Food Standards Agency ‘Academic workshop on nutrient profiling’ (February 2008)
  • School Foods Trust Meeting (October 2008)
  • Invited European DELPHI consultation ‘Curriculum Development for Training Public Health Nutritionists’ (2008)
  • Invited attendance: MRC PHSRN Workshop ‘evaluation of a new dietary assessment and physical activity toolkit’ (December 2008)
  • Invited attendance: MRC PHSRN Workshop ‘assessing diet at the end of life’s spectrum’ (December 2007)
  • Review & contribution to report for APHO (the Association of Public Health Observatories) ‘Review and Needs Assessment of Local Level Diet and Nutrition Data’ (2008)
  • Advisor to IARC (International Agency for Research into Cancer) and member of working group on specification, development and use of the EPICSOFT computer program (1993-1999) and the EPIC Calibration Study.
  • Advisor to IARC (International Agency for Research into Cancer); development European Nutrient Database (1997-2006).
  • Leader of the IARC working groups on fish consumption and mineral intakes & member of 10 other working groups (2005-2007).
  • Steering committee member for MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention and Survival (2006-2007).
  • Chair of the Data Entry and New Dietary Methods Committee for the MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention and Survival. Member of Measurement Error Committee (2006-2007).