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Eugenia Calle 1952-2009
 


Country : Fairlawn, Dayton, Ohio
Profession : Physician, Cancer researcher
Date of birth : 1951-00-00
Date of death : 2009-02-17
Cause of Death : Murder

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Eugenia "Jeanne" Calle was a prominent cancer researcher who grew up in Fairlawn, Dayton, Ohio.

Eugenia "Jeanne" Calle graduated from Copley High School before going on to research work at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as vice president of epidemiology of the American Cancer Society.

Calle visited her mother in a Fairlawn nursing home monthly and over holidays.

Calle, 57, retired from the American Cancer Society two weeks before her death and told colleagues she planned to consult and widen her work to diseases beyond cancer.

According to reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police believe Calle was beaten to death by a man posing as a possible buyer of her 20th-floor condominium, who then robbed her of jewelry and credit cards.

Atlanta police charged Shamal Thompson, 22, with murder and robbery. According to news reports, he was arrested when he returned to the apartment a day later, possibly to take more goods. According to reports, Calle saw Thompson viewing other units in the secured building and invited him to look at hers. Police say he struck her in the head, leading to her death. She was found by her fiance the next day.

Calle, who received her doctorate in epidemiology from Ohio State University in 1982, is best known for two major studies on how obesity affects cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, she also studied the risk factors for breast and other cancers in women and how hormone-replacement therapy affects cancer in women. She appeared on the television show "60 Minutes" to discuss her work.

She served as an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and as a member of the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Counselors.

Calle is survived by her mother,Dorothy Calle of Fairlawn; a sister, Cynthia Ley of Wadsworth; and several nieces and nephews. Her brother, Christopher, died in 2004; her father, James, died in 2005. Her husband Richard Letz died of cancer in 2006.

Dr. Eugenia Calle joined the Epidemiology Department of the American Cancer Society in 1989, following the move of the National Home Office from New York to Atlanta. Until her retirement as Vice President of Epidemiology in early February, Eugenia (Jeanne) Calle contributed to the Society’s legacy of groundbreaking research on the causes and prevention of cancer. Among her major accomplishments were two landmark studies on the relation of obesity to cancer, important contributions to understanding the risk factors for breast and other cancers in women, and research on hormone-replacement therapy in relation to female cancers. She served as an adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors, and on the editorial board of several prominent cancer journals. Jeanne received her doctorate in Epidemiology from the Ohio State University in 1982. She worked as an epidemiologist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the area of cancer risk assessment from 1979 to 1984, and at the Centers for Disease Control on the Agent Orange Projects between 1984 and 1989 before joining the American Cancer Society. Throughout her career, she has made many important contributions to understanding cancer risk factors and prevention. Her leadership was also instrumental in sustaining, enhancing, and developing the Society’s Cancer Prevention Study Studies.

She was an epidemiologist who worked incessantly to unlock the secrets of what population-based information can tell us about the causes and risk factors that lead to cancer. There are few researchers in this country who have labored so hard and been so successful at bridging the gap between what we learn from epidemiology research and how we apply that information to our everyday lives.

Jeanne was widely known in her professional community for the outstanding research that she accomplished and published during her too-short life on this earth. She was one of the lead researchers on a report published several years ago that made the case for the link between obesity and cancer. But that was one of only many, many articles that she published in collaboration with her colleagues here at the American Cancer Society and elsewhere.

Jeanne was instrumental in developing data from our CPS II study, which has monitored more than 1 million healthy people since 1982 to look for those elusive clues that help us understand what increases our risk of cancer. She was a guiding light in developing and initiating our successor CPS 3 study, which is continuing to recruit volunteers to take these studies forward into the 21st century.

 

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