Skip to main content
Local News

Prevention Community Mourns Dr. Alan Kristal, Cancer Epidemiologist

By April 1, 2019No Comments

Dr. Alan Kristal, a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center epidemiologist and a trained chef whose zest for life was matched by his zeal to discover ways to reduce the risk of cancer, died Friday in Seattle. He was 66.

The cause was pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in late August, nearly two years into his retirement from Fred Hutch and the University of Washington.

For more than 29 years, Kristal was a key epidemiologist in the Hutch’s Cancer Prevention Program. There, he built a distinguished career pursuing the link between obesity and cancer and evaluating how dietary and other lifestyle changes might reduce a person’s odds of developing the disease.

“Alan was one of those larger-than-life personalities,” said Dr. Garnet Anderson, senior vice president at Fred Hutch and director of the Public Health Sciences Division, where Kristal carried out his studies. “He was highly opinionated, whip-smart and energetic ­— a forward motion kind of person.”