R. Curtis Ellison, MD, MSC (Epidemiology)R. Curtis Ellison MD, Chair
Professor Ellison has a long history of research relating wine consumption to health outcomes. With training in internal medicine and epidemiology, he is a graduate of Davidson College, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Harvard School of Public Health. He has had appointments at Harvard Medical School, Georgetown University, the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and, most recently, Boston University School of Medicine. At the latter, he was Chief of the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology for two decades prior to his retirement in 2021; he is now Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, at that institution, located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Professor Ellison also served for many years as a senior investigator at the Framingham Heart Study, the first large epidemiologic study of risk factors for heart disease, which has involved periodic evaluations of a population-based cohort of adults and their descendants since 1948.
Ellison’s strong interest in wine and health began in the early 1990’s when he appeared with Serge Renaud, the distinguished French scientist, on a segment entitled “The French Paradox,” shown on 60 Minutes, a popular weekly television program in the USA. The American public reacted dramatically to the discussion on that program that regular, moderate wine consumption might be an important factor in the low levels of heart disease in France. There was an immediate increase in wine consumption in the USA following that program, a trend that continues more than four decades later.
Professor Ellison was a Co-Founder (with Helena Conibear of the United Kingdom) of the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, an organization consisting of more than 40 international scientists who work in alcohol and health. Since 2010, this group of volunteers has carried out critical reviews of more than 250 scientific publications relating wine and alcohol consumption to health outcomes. The periodic reviews of the Forum continue to be published on the Forum’s website: www.alcoholresearechforum.org.