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Professor Weiss earned a medical degree from Stanford University and a doctor of public health from Harvard. Following two years in the U.S. Public Health Service, he joined the University of Washington’s Department of Epidemiology faculty in 1974. His early work documented the rapidly rising incidence of endometrial cancer in the U.S. among American postmenopausal women that followed an increase in the use of non-contraceptive estrogens. Professor Weiss was Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine from 1984-1993.

Professor Weiss' research is primarily in the area of cancer epidemiology. Part of his time is devoted to the study of epidemiologic methods and of the application of these methods to the understanding of the determinants of the outcome of illness.