Richard G. Stevens, Ph.D.

Cancer Epidemiologist
Richard Stevens


B.S., Genetics, University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D., Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle

Past work sites

1977 to 1984 at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia
1984 to 1999 at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington

Main Activities

Teaching and Research


Conference session leader for HDH; Faculty advisor to students in clinical epidemiology elective; PUBH 497: Intermediate Epidemiology; MEDS5308: Nature of Evidence in Scientific Research (required for M.D./Ph.D. students); PUBH 408: Epidemiology/Biostatistics I & II.

Research Interests

Dr. Stevens has been working for a long time trying to help figure out why people get cancer. One of his major interests has been in the possible role of iron overload. Largely on the basis of his work, published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute and the New England Journal of Medicine, the Swedish food industry decided to cease iron fortification of flour in the early 1990s. A perplexing challenge, which Stevens began to engage in the late 1970s, is the confounding mystery of why breast cancer risk rises so dramatically as societies industrialize. He proposed in 1987 a radical new theory that use of electric lighting, resulting in lighted nights, might produce "circadian disruption" causing changes in the hormones relevant to breast cancer risk. Accumulating evidence has generally supported the idea, and it has received wide scientific and public attention. For example, his work has been featured on the covers of the popular weekly Science News (October 17, 1998) and the scientific journal Cancer Research (July 15, 1996).

My Bio

Publications: PubMed

Some media coverage:

also, an interview on WNPR’s ‘Where We Live’

Contact Information

Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Department of Community Medicine and Health Care
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue, MC 6325
Farmington, CT 06030-6325
Phone: 860-679-5475
Fax: 860-679-5464