Staff: Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H., 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 Ph.D. 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 M.P.H. 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 research focuses on 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.
- Non-daily and low-intensity tobacco use
- Emerging tobacco and cannabis products
- Descriptive epidemiology of cancer and mortality trends
Selected Publications and Presentations
- Shiels MS, Lipkowitz S, Campos NG, Schiffman M, Schiller JT, Freedman ND, Berrington de González A. Opportunities for Achieving the Cancer Moonshot Goal of a 50% Reduction in Cancer Mortality by 2047. Cancer Discov 2023 Apr 17; OF1-OF16.
- Inoue-Choi M, Ramirez Y, Cornelis MC, Berrington de González A, Freedman ND, Loftfield E. Tea Consumption and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in the UK Biobank : A Prospective Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med 2022 Sep; 175(9):1201-1211.
- Shiels MS, Haque AT, Berrington de González A, Freedman ND. Leading Causes of Death in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic, March 2020 to October 2021. JAMA Intern Med 2022 Aug 1; 182(8):883-886.
- Lawrence WR, McGee-Avila JK, Vo JB, Luo Q, Chen Y, Inoue-Choi M, Berrington de González A, Freedman ND, Shiels MS. Trends in Cancer Mortality Among Black Individuals in the US From 1999 to 2019. JAMA Oncol 2022 Aug 1; 8(8):1184-1189.
- Inoue-Choi M, Christensen CH, Rostron BL, Cosgrove CM, Reyes-Guzman C, Apelberg B, Freedman ND. Dose-Response Association of Low-Intensity and Nondaily Smoking With Mortality in the United States. JAMA Netw Open 2020 Jun 1; 3(6).