University of Minnesota

Richard Shekelle, MA, PhD


Richard Shekelle received the PhD in Human Development in 1962 at The University of Chicago. He joined the Preventive Medicine Faculty at the University of Illinois where he began work on the Chicago Western Electric Study, a long-term cohort study of CHD with which he was associated throughout his career. Other studies included the American Heart Association Pooling Project of major U.S. cohort studies.

Shekelle headed the Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center from 1973-84, where he was co-investigator of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). He served on the faculty of the American Heart Association-NHLBI 10-day Seminars in Epidemiology for many years and completed his career in 1996 as Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Texas.

Shekelle provided strong support to the diet-heart hypothesis by demonstrating an association between diet and 25-year risk of CHD mortality, an association previously seen only in ecological studies. His work in MRFIT challenged the validity of Type A behavior as a factor in causing CHD. He maintains an active interest in the history of CVD prevention research from retirement in the San Juan Islands. (HB)


Henry Blackburn