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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Richard Troiano, PhD

Captain, United States Public Health Service (Retired)
Special Volunteer

Risk Factor Assessment Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program


  • PhD – Human Nutrition, Cornell University
  • MNS – Clinical Nutrition, Cornell University


CAPT. Richard (Rick) Troiano, PhD, is a special volunteer in the Risk Factor Assessment Branch of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program in NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Dr. Troiano was previously a program director before he retired from NCI in 2021. He has promoted the validation and use of accelerometer-based devices in the assessment of physical activity in research and population surveillance. Dr. Troiano is interested in promoting improved understanding of the information obtained from devices and self-reports and the analytic implications of different data sources.

Dr. Troiano has supported federal efforts to promote health-enhancing physical activity, as evidenced by his details to the Office of the Surgeon General to support development of Step it Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities and to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to serve as coordinator for the development of 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans as well as his role as co-executive secretary for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition.

Prior to joining EGRP, Dr. Troiano was an epidemiologist in the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch in the Applied Research Program (now the Health Care Delivery Research Program), DCCPS. In this capacity, he worked with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to implement the use of devices in the survey to obtain objective measures of participants' physical activity-related movement and sleep, as well as body strength.

In 1993, Dr. Troiano entered government service and the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service as an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He joined the Division of Health Examination Statistics of CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), where he helped design the body composition, physical activity, and physical fitness components of NHANES. These components include dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure body composition; an expanded physical activity questionnaire to capture activity from transportation, occupation, and household tasks in addition to recreation; and a submaximal treadmill test for cardiovascular fitness. While at NCHS, Dr. Troiano published pivotal papers documenting the dramatic increase in overweight among children and adolescents in the United States.

Select Publications

See articles and other publications authored by Dr. Troiano in PubMed.