T. Colin Campbell

T. Colin Campbell

T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been dedicated to the science of human health for more than 60 years. His primary focus is on the association between diet and disease, particularly cancer. Although largely known for The China Study--one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted, and recognized by The New York Times as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology”--Dr. Campbell’s profound impact also includes extensive involvement in education, public policy, and laboratory research.

Dr. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm and was the first in his family to go to college, where he studied pre-veterinary medicine at Pennsylvania State University. After obtaining his B.S. degree, and while completing his first year at the University of Georgia veterinary school, he received a telegram from a well-known professor at Cornell University, offering a scholarship and research opportunity too good to turn down.

And so, he completed his education at Cornell University (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology. He then spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to Cornell in 1975, where he presently holds his Endowed Chair as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

Dr. Campbell’s research experience includes both laboratory experiments and large-scale human studies. All of his research was generously funded by peer-reviewed public funding (mostly NIH, but also the US State Department)—none from for-profit sources.

He served on grant review panels of multiple funding agencies—mostly NIH, but also the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)—participated in the development of national and international nutrition and health policy, and authored over 350 research papers, most published in peer-reviewed science journals. Throughout his career, he has confronted considerable public confusion and controversy concerning nutrition and its effects, especially concerning for-profit, corporate control of the nutrition message.

Aside from chairing more than 40 graduate student research programs, his most notable contribution is conceiving, organizing, and directing the first research project between China and the US, following rapprochement in the late 1970s, involving Cornell University, Oxford University (U.K.), the China Academy of Preventive Medicine and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Later, this project won the most significant medical research award in China (among 111 entries) during the post-Premier Deng Xiao Ping era (1978–1997).

To synthesize the findings of his long and rewarding career and to give back to the public whose lives are threatened by rampant misinformation and special interests, Dr. Campbell co-wrote with his son, Tom (MD), The China Study (2005, 2016), which has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 50 foreign languages. He is also the author of The New York Times bestseller Whole (2013) and The Low- Carb Fraud (2013), both with Howard Jacobson (PhD), and The Future of Nutrition (2020), with Nelson Disla.

Several documentary films feature Dr. Campbell and his research, including Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive, Food Matters, PlantPure Nation, and From Food to Freedom, the latter two produced by Nelson Campbell.

He continues to present public lectures on health and nutrition, having now delivered more than 1,300 lectures internationally (30+ countries) and nationally (40+ states). He is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate powered by eCornell.