Stevens named AICR Distinguished Professor

September 12, 2006
Photograph of June Stevens, PhD

Photograph of June Stevens, PhD

June Stevens, PhD, Chair of the Department of Nutrition, has been named American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund Distinguished Professor by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. The focus of the AICR distinguished professorship is to advance the understanding, nationally and internationally, of the role of food and nutrition in the prevention of cancer within the context of other major chronic diseases.

Dr. Stevens is a nutrition epidemiologist with a large research program focusing on the causes, consequences, and prevention of obesity in different populations. She has special interests in minority health, anthropometry, and physical activity. She has been the Principal Investigator of the Coordinating Center for two large national trials that examined obesity and physical activity in children and adolescents. Obesity and physical activity have only recently been fully recognized as important modifiable risk factors for cancer. Next to smoking, obesity and low physical activity may be related to as many cancer deaths as any other life-style factors. Programs to prevent obesity are fast becoming a focus of cancer prevention research in much the same way as programs to prevent smoking have been in the past, and continue to be.

Dr. Stevens earned a BS in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an RD from Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital in Clinical Dietetics; an MS from Pennsylvania State University in Human Nutrition; and a PhD from Cornell University in Human Nutrition with a minor in Statistics. On April 1 of this year Dr. Stevens was appointed chair of the Department of Nutrition in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The AICR distinguished professorship is housed in the Department of Nutrition, a recognized leader in educating health care professionals in nutrition. The AICR distinguished professor provides senior leadership University-wide to mobilize intellectual resources and forge alliances to focus on research and education linking nutrition and cancer. The professorship was first awarded to Steven Zeisel, who was then chair of the nutrition department. Dr. Zeisel is now the School’s Associate Dean of Research and a Kenan Professor.

Since its founding in 1982, the American Institute for Cancer Research has grown into the nation’s leading charity in the field of diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR supports research into the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention and treatment of cancer. It also offers a wide range of cancer prevention education programs.


For more information contact Ramona DuBose, director of communications for the UNC School of Public Health, by telephone at 919-966-7467 or by email at