University of Minnesota

Maureen M. Henderson, M.D., D.P.H.

1926 — 2012

Maureen Henderson was a pioneer in chronic disease epidemiology, making contributions to CVD and cancer prevention. She trained in medicine and public health at the U. of Durham and in a fellowship with Richard Doll in London. After years on the faculty at the U. of Maryland she became Prof. of Epidemiology and then Vice-President at the U. of Washington from 1975. In 1983 she founded the Cancer Prevention Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Center.

Her research included studies of control and prevention of hypertension and stroke, including the Hypertension Detection and Control Program of the 1970s, and in the Women’s Health Initiative, evaluating the role of hormone therapy and diet-fat reduction in prevention of cancers and CVD in women after menopause.

Her policy contributions to CVD prevention included serving on the NHLBI Task Force on CVD in the Young from 1975-77 and chairing the NHLBI Review Committee on Clinical Trials during its active period from 1975-79.

She became a central force, and one of the first and more influential women in public health, serving on federal advisory panels, as president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the American Epidemiological Society, and in the Institute of Medicine.