Chief, Environmental Health Investigations Branch
California Department of Health

Dr. Peggy Reynolds, a cancer epidemiologist in the California Department of Health Service's Environmental Health Investigations Branch, was awarded the 2004 Community Breast Cancer Research award for her search into the puzzlingly high incidence of breast cancer in Marin. She says, "What we do is fill in the gaps. We address things that are not being addressed by the academic world. The environment is an area where there are unanswered questions and people are concerned ... The truth is, we don't know the role the environment plays in the development of breast cancer, or cancer in general."

Epidemiology is a science that takes a long time to provide answers. What Dr. Reynolds loves about her job is "the opportunity to work with people in so many disciplines - researchers, the medical profession, advocates, public health providers, everyone working collectively to find the answers." It takes a community effort and Dr. Reynolds is part of that effort in Marin County. Dr. Reynolds has served as the principal investigator for a study of regional variations in breast cancer in California; a study of body burden levels of endocrine disrupters in breast cancer patients; a study of breast cancer incidence in flight attendants; and a statewide study of patterns of childhood cancer.