Dr. Gail Harrison's research focuses on variation in dietary intake patterns in human populations and the functional consequences of food intake patterns, including variations in risk for some cancers. In particular, assessment of dietary intake within and across free-living human populations can provide clues to population differentials in cancer risk and to changing risk patterns over time among immigrant and migrant groups. These studies can potentially provide clues to important cancer-protective interventions.
Currently, Harrison and her colleagues are engaged in developing methods to estimate dietary exposure to isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens derived primarily from soybeans and a few other plants which are thought to be important protective factors against cancers of the breast and prostate among populations consuming traditional Asian diets. The researchers are also using dietary change to assess the impact of cancer prevention programs in several specific populations.
International nutrition work has also been a long-standing interest, and Harrison is currently helping to monitor the rapid changes in diet and prevalence of obesity and adult chronic diseases occurring in developing countries.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
McCarthy WJ, Yancey AK, Harrison GG, Leslie J, Siegel JM. Fighting cancer with fitness: dietary outcomes of a randomized, controlled lifestyle change intervention in healthy African-American women. Prev Med. 2007; 44(3): 246-53.
Herman DR, Harrison GG, Jenks E. Choices made by low-income women provided with an economic supplement for fresh fruit and vegetable purchase. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006; 106(5): 740-4.
Yancey AK, McCarthy WJ, Harrison GG, Wong WK, Siegel JM, Leslie J. Challenges in improving fitness: results of a community-based, randomized, controlled lifestyle change intervention. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2006; 15(4): 412-29.
Yaktine AL, Harrison GG, Lawrence RS. Reducing exposure to dioxins and related compounds through foods in the next generation. Nutr Rev. 2006; 64(9): 403-9.
Harrison GG, Stormer A, Herman DR, Winham DM. Development of a spanish-language version of the U.S. household food security survey module. J Nutr. 2003; 133(4): 1192-7.