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Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D.

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D. Professor; Webb Endowed Chair
Department of Nutrition Sciences
School of Health Professions
1824 6th Ave. S.
WTI 102M
Phone: 205-975-4022


Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D., is professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences and the associate director for cancer prevention and control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Demark-Wahnefried is a nutrition scientist with training in biochemistry, genetics, and behavioral science. She was recently recruited (spring 2010) from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where she was a full professor in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences; earlier in her career she was at Duke University Medical Center. For the past two decades, her research career has spanned basic science studies focused on determining mechanisms of action of food-related components on neoplastic progression, to clinical research that involves nutrition-related concerns of cancer patients, as well as determining effective lifestyle interventions that improve the overall health of cancer survivors and their families. Her laboratory has conducted some of the largest studies exploring metabolic and body composition changes in response to cancer treatment. An area of research in which Dr. Demark-Wahnefried has experienced particular success is the delivery of home-based lifestyle interventions among cancer survivors, where she has led and continues to lead a number of NIH-funded trials aimed at improving the diet and exercise behavioral of cancer survivors. She was a named a Komen Professor of Survivorship for her work in this arena.

Dr. Demark-Wahnefried serves on the several boards and panels, including the American Cancer Society, several NIH standing and ad-hoc committees, and the World Cancer Fund. Her research interests include diet/hormonal and genetic interactions and their association with neoplasia (specifically breast and prostate cancer); dietary intervention to prevent chronic disease factors affecting compliance and recidivism; and lifestyle modification among cancer survivors.

Representative Publications

  • Demark-Wahnefried W, Winer EP, Rimer BK. Why women gain weight with adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 11:1418-1429, 1993. 
  • Demark-Wahnefried W, Hars V, Conaway M, Havlin K, Rimer B, McElveen G, Winer E. Reduced rates of metabolism and decreased physical activity in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 65: 1495-1501, 1997. 
  • Campbell MK, Demark-Wahnefried W, Dodds J, Symons M, Kalsbeek W, Cowan A, Motsinger B, Hoben K, Lashley J, Demissie S, McClelland J. Improving fruit and vegetable consumption for cancer prevention in communities: the Black Churches United for Better Health project. American Journal of Public Health. 89: 1390-1396, 1999. 
  • Demark-Wahnefried W. Application of behavioral theory within diet-based clinical trials to improve outcome.Cancer Prevention International. 3:191-198, 1999. 
  • Demark-Wahnefried W, Peterson BL, Winer EP, Marks L, Aziz N, Marcom PK, Blackwell K, Rimer BK. Changes in weight, body composition and factors influencing energy balance among premenopausal breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 19:2381-2389, 2001. 
  • Lin X, Switzer, BR, Demark-Wahnefried W. Effect of mammalian lignans on the growth of prostate cancer cell lines. Anticancer Research. 21: 3995-4000, 2001 
  • Rock CL, Demark-Wahnefried W. Nutrition and survival after the diagnosis of breast cancer: a review of the evidence. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 20: 3302-3316, 2002. 
  • Lin X, Gingrich JR, Bao W, Li J, Haroon ZA, Demark-Wahnefried W. The effect of flaxseed supplementation on prostatic carcinoma in transgenic mice. Urology. 60:919-924, 2002. 
  • Affenito S, Lambert-Lagace L, Kerstetter J, Demark-Wahnefried W. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Nutrition and Women's Health. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 104:984-1001, 2004. 
  • Doyle C, Kushi LH, Byers T, Courneya KS, Demark-Wahnefried W, Grant B, McTiernan A, Rock CL, Thompson C, Gansler T, Andrews KS, for the 2006 Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship Advisory Committee. Nutrition and Physical Activity During and After Cancer Treatment: An American Cancer Society Guide for Informed Choices. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 56: 323-353, 2006. 
  • Seewaldt VL, Goldenberg V, Jones LW, Peace C, Broadwater G, Scott VS, Bean GR, Wilke LG, Zalles CM, Demark-Wahnefried W. Overweight and Obese Peri- and Post-Women Exhibit Increased Abnormal Mammary Epithelial Cytology. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 16:613-616, 2007. 
  • Demark-Wahnefried W, Clipp EC, Lipkus IM, Lobach D, Snyder DC, Sloane R, Peterson B, Macri JA, Rock CL, McBride C, Kraus WE. Main outcomes of the FRESH START trial: A sequentially-tailored diet and exercise mailed print intervention among breast and prostate cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 25:2709-2719, 2007. 
  • Demark-Wahnefried W, Polascik TJ, Madden JF, Switzer BR, George SL, Ruffin MT, Snyder DC, Hars V, Albala DM, Walther PJ, Robertson CN, Moul JW, Dunn BK, Brenner D, Minasian L, Stella P, Vollmer, RT Impact of flaxseed supplementation and dietary fat restriction on prostate cancer: Results of a multi-site phase II randomized controlled trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 17:3577-3587, 2008. 
  • Morey MC, Snyder DC, Sloane R, Cohen HJ, Peterson B, Hartman T, Miller PE, Mitchell D, Demark-Wahnefried W. Effects of home-based diet and exercise on functional outcomes among older, overweight long-term cancer survivors. RENEW: A randomized controlled trial JAMA. 301: 1883-91, 2009.

Recent Publications (via PubMed)

Streamed live on Feb 2, 2015
Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried - “Diet and Exercise Recommendations for Cancer Survivors – What is t...

Published on Oct 25, 2012
Fighting Cancer With Fork and Knife: Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD


Published on May 24, 2011
Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD from uabnews on Vimeo.