Andrew Olshan

Andrew Olshan, PhD

Barbara Sorenson Hulka Distinguished Professor in Cancer Epidemiology
Department of Epidemiology
Adjunct Professor
Department of Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery, UNC School of Medicine
Associate Director, Population Sciences
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Interim Associate Dean of Research
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
2105-B McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB #7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Olshan’s major interests include the epidemiology of cancer and reproductive, perinatal and pediatric outcomes. He has been the principal investigator for multiple NIH-, EPA-, and CDC-funded studies of adult and childhood cancers and reproductive and pediatric outcomes. 

He is the current principal investigator for the Carolina Head and Neck Cancer Study and leads the North Carolina Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention. 

Dr. Olshan has been at UNC for over 30 years and has taught in both the cancer epidemiology and reproductive, perinatal and pediatric programs. He was epidemiology department chair from 2006 to 2018.

Andrew Olshan in the Gillings News

Representative Courses

Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology (EPID 851)

Advanced Cancer Epidemiology (EPID 775)

Research Activities

Cancer and reproductive, perinatal and pediatric epidemiology, including examination of environmental, social, and genetic risk factors; research in cancer outcomes and survivorship

Key Publications

A review of African American-white differences in risk factors for cancer: Prostate cancer. Danielle Backes, Leila Family, Lauren McCullough, Irina Mordukhovich, Katie O'Brien, Andrew Olshan, Hilda Razzaghi, Paul Reiter (2011). Cancer Causes and Control, 22(3), 341-357.

Discovery of genetic susceptibility factors for human birth defects: An opportunity for a national agenda. Charlotte Hobbs, Andrew Olshan, Gary Shaw (2011). American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A, 155(8), 1794-1797.

Association of Paternal Age and Risk for Major Congenital Anomalies From the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997 to 2004. Natalie Archer, Krista Crider, Owen Devine, Ridgely Green, Richard Olney, Andrew Olshan, Stuart Shapira (2010). Annals of Epidemiology, 20(3), 241-249.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, 1989
  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1987
  • MS, Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1982
  • BA, Anthropology, Arizona State University, 1978