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Tim Key

Deputy Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit

Professor Timothy Key took a DPhil in cancer epidemiology at Wolfson in 1988. His main interests are the roles of diet and hormones in the aetiology of cancer, and the health status of vegetarians and vegans.  Key’s  research has clarified the importance of oestrogen in the aetiology of breast cancer and the role of insulin-like growth factors in the development of both breast and prostate cancer.  His research group has also shown that vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease than meat-eaters. 

Mostly Key works on the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), as the principal investigator of the Oxford cohort of 60,000 subjects, including 30,000 people who don’t eat meat.  Key is also chairman of the EPIC prostate cancer group; he co-ordinates the international Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group; and he isa member of the UK Department of Health’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.