DBE, AC, MA, FRS
Director, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford
Born in Australia, Professor Beral studied medicine at Sydney University, graduating in 1969 with bachelor degrees in both medicine and surgery, with first class honours. After a few years of clinical work in Australia and New Guinea she moved to the UK. At the Hammersmith Hospital, Dr Beral worked under Charles Fletcher who recognised that she was suited to epidemiology and so propelled her towards the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where she worked for almost 20 years in the Department of Epidemiology. She also became a member of the Royal College of Physicians.
In 1988 she moved to direct the Cancer Research UK Cancer Epidemiology Unit in Oxford. Major research includes the role of reproductive, hormonal and infectious agents in cancer. She is Principal Investigator for the Million Women Study on the effect of women's lifestyle on health, with particular focus on the effects of hormone replacement therapy. Since 1991 this has led the international collaborative studies of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Dame Valerie has served on various international committees for the World Health Organization and the United States National Academy of Sciences. She also chairs the UK Department of Health's Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening.
Her honours include being awarded Dame of the British Empire (DBE) and Companion of Australia (AC) for her contributions to science. In addition, Professor Beral was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), for scientific contributions to epidemiology.