Dr. Walter Willett "grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, attended Michigan State University, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School before obtaining a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Willett is a co-investigator of the Nurses’ Health Study I, a cohort of over 121,000 female registered nurses 30-55 years of age who completed a mailed questionnaire that included items about known or suspected risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease. He is Principal Investigator of the Nurses’ Health Study II, a prospective cohort investigation established in 1989 with over 116,000 female registered nurses. This study is designed to examine the association between lifestyle and nutritional factors and the occurrence of breast cancer and other major illnesses.
"In addition to his work with the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II, Willett initiated in 1986, a parallel prospective study of diet in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease among 52,000 men, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. He has published over 800 articles, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and cancer, and has written the textbook, “Nutritional Epidemiology” (2nd edition), published by Oxford University Press. His recent book for the general public, “Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating” has appeared on most major best seller lists." 
- Center for International Development: Faculty Associates and Researchers
- External Advisory Board, Earth Institute
- Winner of the 2003 Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research
- Winner of the 2003 Linus Paul Medicine Award 
- Expert Panel, World Cancer Research Fund