Amy F. Subar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Special Volunteer
Risk Factor Assessment Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program


  • Ph.D. – Human Nutrition, Syracuse University
  • M.P.H. – Public Health Nutrition, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
  • B.S. – Dietetics, State University College at Buffalo


Dr. Amy Subar is Special Volunteer with the Risk Factor Assessment Branch (RFAB) in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS).

Dr. Subar was the Acting Branch Chief for RFAB from January 2018 until she retired from the Federal government with more than 30 years of public service in June 2019. Previously, she was a Program Director in RFAB from 2015 through 2017. Prior to joining EGRP, Dr. Subar was a Research Nutritionist in DCCPS’ Applied Research Program (now the Healthcare Delivery Research Program).

Dr. Subar's focus is on developing, designing, and conducting nutrition research related to dietary methods, dietary instruments, measurement error, dietary surveillance, and nutritional epidemiology. She led development and evaluation of the web-based Automated, Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24). ASA24, is freely available for use by researchers, clinicians, and educators for multiple, automatically coded, self-administered 24-hour recalls and/or single or multi-day food records (also known as food diaries).

Dr. Subar directed the development and evaluation of the Diet History Questionnaire, NCI's publicly available food frequency questionnaire, now in its third version. This work encompassed all areas of questionnaire development: cognitive issues, methods to determine food and portion size lists, methods for creating nutrient databases for frequency questionnaires, testing of response rates, and comparative validation. This food frequency questionnaire is web-based and freely available to investigators conducting nutrition research.

Dr. Subar also collaborates on the Multi-cohort Eating and Activity Study for Understanding Reporting Error (MEASURE) and she collaborated on the Validation Studies Pooling Project. Both these studies pooled data from large recovery biomarker studies to assess and develop methods to adjust for measurement error related to self-report dietary assessment instruments.

Dr. Subar's research has also focused on understanding measurement error in the biomarker-based Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition (OPEN) Study. She was also a lead investigator in the AARP Diet and Health Study, the largest prospective dietary cohort in the United States.

Select Publications

Subar AF, Kushi LH, Lerman JL, Freedman LS. Invited commentary: the contribution to the field of nutritional epidemiology of the landmark 1985 publication by Willett et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Jun 1;185:1124-29.

Freedman LS, Commins JM, Willett W, Tinker LF, Spiegelman D, Rhodes D, Potischman N, Neuhouser ML, Moshfegh AJ, KipnisV, Baer DJ, Arab L, Prentice RL, Subar AF. Evaluation of the 24-hour recall as a reference instrument for calibrating other self-report instruments in nutritional cohort studies: evidence from the Validation Studies Pooling Project. Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Apr 10:1-10.

Yuan C, Spiegelman D, Rimm EB, Rosner BA, Stampfer MJ, Barnett JB, Chavarro JE, Subar AF Sampson LK, Willett WC.  Validity of a dietary questionnaire assessed by comparison with multiple weighed dietary records or 24-hour recalls. Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Apr 1;185(7):570-584.

Kirkpatrick SI, Potischman N, Dodd KW, Douglass D, Zimmerman TP, Kahle LL, Thompson FE, George SM, Subar AF. The use of digital images in 24-hour recalls may lead to less misestimation of portion size compared to traditional interviewer-administered recalls. J Nutr. 2016 Dec;146(12);2567-2573.

Subar AF, Freedman LS, Tooze JA, Kirkpatrick SI, Boushey C, Neuhouser ML, Thompson FE, Potischman N, Guenther PM, Tarasuk V, Reedy J, Krebs-Smith S. Addressing current criticism regarding the value of self-report dietary data. J Nutr. 2015 Dec;145(12):2639-45.

Freedman LS, Commins JM, Moler JE, Arab L, Baer DJ, Kipnis V, Midthune D, Moshfegh AJ, Neuhouser ML, Prentice RL, Schatzkin A, Spiegelman D, Subar AF, Tinker LF, Willett W. Pooled results from 5 validation studies of dietary self-report instruments using recovery biomarkers for energy and protein intake. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Jul 15;180 (2):172-88.

Kirkpatrick SI, Subar AF, Douglass D, Zimmerman TP, Thompson FE, Kahle LL, George SM, Dodd KW, Potischman N. Performance of the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Recall (ASA24) relative to a measure of true intakes and to an interviewer-administered 24-h recall. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr 30;100 (1):233-40.

Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM, Miller PE, Liese AD, Kahle LL, Park Y, Subar AF. Higher diet quality is associated with decreased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality among older adults. J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144 (6):881-89.

Subar AF, Midthune D, Tasevska A, Kipnis V, Freedman LS. Checking for completeness of 24-h urine collection using para-amino benzoic acid not necessary in the Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition Study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;67 (8):863-67.

Carroll RJ, Midthune D, Subar AF, Shumakovich M, Freedman LS, Thompson FE, Kipnis V. Taking advantage of the strengths of 2 different dietary assessment instruments to improve intake estimates for nutritional epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Feb 15;175 (4):340-47.

Subar AF, Crafts J, Zimmerman TP, Wilson M, Mittl B, Islam NG, McNutt S, Potischman N, Buday R, Hull SG, Baranowski T, Guenther PM, Willis G, Tapia R, Thompson FE. Assessment of the accuracy of portion size reports using computer-based food photographs aids in the development of an automated self-administered 24-hour recall (ASA24). J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jan;110 (1):55-64.

Freedman LS, Potischman N, Kipnis V, Midthune D, Schatzkin A, Thompson FE, Troiano RP, Prentice R, Patterson R, Carroll R, Subar AF. A comparison of two dietary instruments for evaluating the fat - breast cancer relationship. Intl J Epidemiol. 2006 Aug;35 (4):1011-21.

Kipnis V, Subar AF, Midthune D, Freedman LS, Ballard-Barbash R, Troiano RP, Bingham S, Schoeller DA, Schatzkin A, Carroll RJ. Structure of dietary measurement error: results of the OPEN biomarker study. Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Jul 1;158 (1):14-21.

Subar AF, Kipnis V, Troiano RP, Midthune D, Schoeller DA, Bingham S, Sharbaugh CO, Trabulsi J, Runswick S, Ballard-Barbash R, Sunshine J, Schatzkin A. Using intake biomarkers to evaluate the extent of dietary misreporting in a large sample of adults: the OPEN Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Jul 1;158 (1):1-13.

Subar AF, Thompson FE, Kipnis V, Midthune D, Hurwitz P, McNutt S, McIntosh A, Rosenfeld S. Comparative validation of the Block, Willett, and National Cancer Institute food frequency questionnaires: the Eating at America's Table Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Dec 15;154(12):1089-99.