Staff: Neal D. Freedman, PhD, MPH

Neal D. Freedman

Neal D. Freedman, PhD, MPH

Chief, TCRB
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Neal D. Freedman, PhD, MPH, is chief of the Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In 1998, Dr. Freedman received his bachelor's degree from Brown University with dual concentrations in biochemistry and Colonial American history. In 2004, he received a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of California San Francisco, where he worked with Dr. Keith Yamamoto on the biology of nuclear receptors. Then, he became an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow and in 2005 received an MPH in quantitative methods from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, he became a tenure track investigator in 2009 and received scientific tenure in 2015. In 2023, he joined TCRB. He is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society.

Dr. Freedman's scientific interests include common, potentially modifiable, exposures of public health significance, including tobacco, alcohol, opioids, and cannabis. He tracks usage trends, examines disease risks and burden, investigates underlying mechanisms, and develops new resources. He is interested in the contemporary disease and mortality risks of established and emerging tobacco products and usage patterns, including non-daily and dual- and poly-use. He has conducted mechanistic studies examining physiologic and molecular effects and surveillance studies examining usage patterns. Additionally, he has used tools of descriptive epidemiology to track trends in cancer and other major causes of death in the United States and identify health disparities. Over the years, this work expanded to include deaths from alcohol, external causes, and COVID-19.

Research Areas

  • Non-daily and low-intensity tobacco use
  • Emerging tobacco and cannabis products
  • Descriptive epidemiology of cancer and mortality trends

Selected Publications and Presentations

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