Skip Menu
HomeHome ContactContact CoursesCanvas
  Program Changes Are Coming!     Check back for details.  
More Faculty Profiles . . .

Faculty Profile

Noel Weiss

Noel Weiss

When Dr. Noel Weiss arrived in Seattle in 1973 to join the faculties of the University of Washington (UW) and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he was charged with establishing a population-based cancer registry in western Washington. Dr. Weiss used data from that and other US registries to document an increased incidence of endometrial cancer. Subsequent studies that he conducted - ones that interviewed women with and without endometrial cancer - helped to implicate the increased use of estrogen preparations by postmenopausal women as the explanation for the change in incidence.

From 1984 to 1993, Dr. Weiss served as chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the UW. Under his leadership, the department saw substantial growth in the number of faculty members and students. At the time that he assumed his duties as chair, 18 faculty members made up the department; by 1993, this number had grown to 47. The student body expanded as well, with more departmental funds and training grants allocated to students. Dr. Weiss introduced changes to the curriculum, particularly relating to the organization of the introductory classes. He also established a journal club, which acquainted graduate students with current research developments through reviews of the recent literature.

In addition to his work in the Department of Epidemiology, Dr. Weiss also participates in the UW's speaker's bureau, where he regularly offers the lecture Interpreting Risks to Health Reported in the Media. "The UW used to offer Saturday morning seminars for people coming to the football games. I felt that there could be some benefit for the general public to understand research findings as reported in the media. I sought to take the audience through my own thought process when encountering health risks reported in the media, and provided guidelines to help individuals determine when to dismiss or seriously consider these reports."

Revered as an outstanding educator and mentor, Dr. Weiss received the inaugural Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award in 1999. Two UW alumni nominated Dr. Weiss and contacted other alumni to write letters on his behalf. "As word of this award spread through alumni," wrote one nominator, "people I did not even know felt compelled to tell me how Noel impacted their lives and careers." Out of 119 faculty nominees nominated by 300 current and former students, Dr. Weiss was selected for his generosity and ability to inspire students.