William B. Grant PH.D.
Director, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center
San Francisco, CA, USA
William B. Grant has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He had a 30-year career in atmospheric sciences with an emphasis on developing and using laser radar (lidar) systems for remote sensing of atmospheric constituents with positions at SRI International, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, and NASA Langley Research Center.
He turned to health research in 1996, using the ecological approach to link dietary factors to risk of Alzheimer's disease, resulting in the first paper linking diet to risk of Alzheimer's disease (Grant, 1997). His next ecological study found that while animal fat was an important risk factor for coronary heart disease for men, added sugar (sweeteners) were for women (Grant, 1998).
In 1999, he obtained a copy of the Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the United States, 1950-94 (NIH Publication No. 99-4564) and noticed that for many types of cancer, mortality rates were much higher in the northeast than in the southwest. Building on the work of the brothers Cedric and Frank Garland, he used NASA satellite data for solar UVB doses in July 1992 in ecological studies to show that 13 types of cancer (eight more than previously identified) had mortality rates inversely correlated with UVB doses (Grant, 2002).
After retirement from NASA in 2004, he moved to San Francisco and formed the nonprofit organization Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center. He has published several additional ecological studies related to the association of UVB and various cancers, autism, and dental caries, and several ecological studies on diet and Alzheimer's disease, cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis. He has also carefully examined how observational studies and randomized clinical trials are conducted regarding vitamin D, resulting in several publications pointing out limitations of such studies and how they can be improved.