He has an academic background in Medicine with board-certifications in Internal Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and received an MPH and a PhD in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles.
His research interests cover environmental, occupational and behavioural risk and preventive factors of cancer for evidence-informed global cancer control in support of achieving the goals of the SDG 2030 agenda, and particularly SDG 3, Health, with a focus on non-communicable diseases. More recently, he got also interested in research on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
At ISGlobal, Kurt Straif is involved in several projects, including OMEGA-NET, EPHOR, HERA and COVICAT.
Before joining ISGlobal, he has worked for almost two decades at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO) in Lyon, France as the Head of the IARC Monographs Programme and the Section of Evidence Synthesis and Classification, where he was responsible for the series of Monographs on the carcinogenicity of environmental agents, including tobacco (smoking, involuntary smoking, smokeless tobacco and betel quid); air pollution (including indoor and outdoor air pollution, diesel engine exhaust); radiofrequency electromagnetic fields; shift-work and circadian disruption; the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention including Handbooks on cancer preventive effects of avoidance of obesity, and screening for breast and colorectal cancer.
He has received the Research Integrity Award, ISEE, the Distinguished Lecture in Occupational and Environmental Cancer, US NCI, and the US NIEHS Champion of Environmental Health Research Award. He is a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini.
- Samet JM, Chiu WA, Cogliano V, Jinot J, Kriebel D, Lunn RM, Beland FA, Bero L, Browne P, Fritschi L, Kanno J, Lachenmeier DW, Lan Q, Lasfargues G, Le Curieux F, Peters S, Shubat P, Sone H, White MC, Williamson J, Yakubovskaya M, Siemiatycki J, White PA, Guyton KZ, Schubauer-Berigan MK, Hall AL, Grosse Y, Bouvard V, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, El Ghissassi F, Lauby-Secretan B, Armstrong B, Saracci R, Zavadil J, Straif K, Wild CP. The IARC Monographs: Updated Procedures for Modern and Transparent Evidence Synthesis in Cancer Hazard Identification. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020; 112:30-37
- Mehrotra R, Yadav A, Sinha DN, Parascandola M, John RM, Ayo-Yusuf O, Nargis N, Hatsukami DK, Warnakulasuriya S, Straif K, Siddiqi K, Gupta PC. Smokeless tobacco control in 180 countries across the globe: call to action for full implementation of WHO FCTC measures. Lancet Oncol. 2019;20:e208-e217
- Lauby-Secretan B, Vilahur N, Bianchini F, Guha N, Straif K; International Agency for Research on Cancer Handbook Working Group. The IARC Perspective on Colorectal Cancer Screening. N Engl J Med. 2018; 378:1734-1740.
- GBD 2017 SDG Collaborators. Measuring progress from 1990 to 2017 and projecting attainment to 2030 of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals for 195 countries and territories: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet. 2018;392:2091-2138
- Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Grosse Y, Bianchini F, Straif K; International Agency for Research on Cancer Handbook Working Group. Body fatness and cancer – Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J. Med. 2016; 375: 794-798
- Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Bouvard V, Bianchini F, Straif K; International Agency for Research on Cancer Handbook Working Group. Breast Cancer Screening – Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med 2015; 372: 2353-2358
- Wild CP, Bray F, Forman D, Franceschi S, Sankaranarayanan R, Straif K. Cancer in the 25x25 non-communicable disease targets. Lancet 2014; 384: 1502-1503
- Olsson A, Vermeulen R, Kromhout H, Peters S, Gustavsson P, Brüske I, Siemiatycki J, Pesch B, Brüning T, Straif K. Exposure to diesel motor exhaust and lung cancer: are findings of a large pooled analysis really consistent – author reply to Drs Morfeld and Erren. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2011: 185:106-107O
- lsson A, Vermeulen R, Kromhout H, Peters S, Gustavsson P, Brüske I, Siemiatycki J, Pesch B, Brüning T, Straif K. The impact of selection bias due to increasing response rates among population controls in occupational case-control studies. Author reply to Dr Möhner. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2011; 185:106-107
- Chaloupka FJ, Straif K, Leon ME. Effectiveness of tax and price policies in tobacco control. Tob. Control 2011; 20: 235-238
- Leon ME, Beane-Freeman LE, Douwes J, Hoppin JA, Kromhout H, Lebailly P, Nordby KC, Schenker M, Schüz J, Waring SC, Alavanja MC, Annesi-Maesano I, Baldi I, Dalvie MA, Ferro G, Fervers B, Langseth H, London L, Lynch CF, McLaughlin J, Merchant JA, Pahwa P, Sigsgaard T, Stayner L, Wesseling C, Yoo KY, Zahm SH, Straif K, Blair A. AGRICOH: a consortium of agricultural cohorts. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011; 8: 1341-1357
- Ward E, Schulte PA, Straif K, Hopf NB, Caldwell JC, Carreón T, DeMarini DM, Fowler BA, Goldstein BD, Hemminki K, Husgafvel-Pursiainen K, Kuempel E, Lewtas J, Lunn RM, Lynge E, McElvenny DM, Muhle H, Nasu-Nakajima T, Robertson LW, Rothman N, Ruder AM, Schubauer-Berigan MK, Siemiatycki J, Silverman D, Smith MT, Sorahan T, Steenland K, Stevens RG, Vineis P, Zahm SH, Zeise L, Cogliano VJ. Research recommendations for selected IARC-classified agents. Env. Health Perspect. 2010;118:1355-62
- Stayner L, Bena J, Sasco AJ, Smith R, Steenland K, Kreuzer M, Straif K. Lung cancer risk and workplace exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Am J Public Health 2007;97:545-51
- Straif K, Baan R, Grosse Y, Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Cogliano V; WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group. Carcinogenicity of household solid fuel combustion and of high-temperature frying. Lancet Oncol. 2006;7:977-8.
- Stewart BW, Wild CP (eds). Cree IA, Ferlay J, Straif K (assoc eds). World Cancer Report – Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention. International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France. 2020
- Vaccarella S, Lortet-Tieulent J, Saracci R, Conway DI, Straif K, Wild CP (eds). Reducing Social Inequalities in Cancer: Evidence and Priorities for Research. IARC Scientific Publication No. 168. International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France. 2019
- Baan RA, Stewart BW, Straif K (eds).Tumour Site Concordance and Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis. IARC Scientific Publication No. 165. International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France. 2019
- Straif K, Cohen A, Samet J (eds). Air Pollution and Cancer (IARC Scientific Publications Series, No. 161). International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France, 2014