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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr February 14, 2023

Written by Rylan Gray

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD, Professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences was selected by the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO) as the winner of the 2023 Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award. 

"I have been a member of the ASPO for over 30 years.  Early on in my career the organization provided the training and networking opportunities that have made me a better cancer researcher.  Later in my career, ASPO provided me opportunities that made me a better Associate Director and training program leader in Cancer Prevention and Control.  Therefore, this organization means a lot to me, and I am very grateful and tremendously heartened to receive this award."

Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control for the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, Demark-Wahnefried has dedicated much of her life to studying  lifestyle changes – particularly diet and exercise and their impact on cancer and overall health . Cancer survivorship has been a keen interest of hers for more than 25 years and her research has tested a variety of lifestyle interventions among survivors of breast, prostate and other forms of cancer.

Most recently, she was awarded a five-year $11.7 million grant from the NIH - National Cancer Institute to test an online diet and exercise intervention entitled, AMPLIFY (Aim, Plan and act on LIFestYles) (https://amplify.peopledesigns.net/welcome) that is recruiting cancer survivors across the continental United States. 

Demark-Wahnefried, who is a past chair of the Obesity and Cancer section of the Obesity Society, has served as principal investigator and investigator on numerous studies including Harvest for Health (a vegetable gardening intervention among cancer survivors across Alabama), RENEW (Reach-out to ENhancE Wellness among older cancer survivors) and FRESH START  to name a few. 

According to the ASPO, The Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award is an annual award given to an outstanding scientist in the area of preventive oncology, cancer control and/or cancer prevention.  

As award recipient, Demark-Wahnefried is invited to give a speech at this year’s ASPO Meeting in San Diego, California. 

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