Photo of Chung Yin (Joey) Kong,  PhD

Chung Yin (Joey) Kong, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital
Phone: (617) 726-5311

Chung Yin (Joey) Kong, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital


  • Assistant Professor, Radiology, Harvard Medical School
  • Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Technology Assessment, Massachusetts General Hospital


Research Abstract

I am committed to pursuing an academic research career to study and improve health policy making. I have both academic and industrial experience working on computer modeling of various fields including macromolecules, protein binding, traffic routing, signal processing, and disease simulation modeling. My current research interests are on using modeling to investigate the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening and the applications of advanced engineering simulation methods on cancer screening simulations.

Simulation modeling and clinical trials offer different and complementary ways to investigate the relationship between a health care intervention and outcomes. The advantage of simulation modeling is the ability to integrate currently available short-term data to project long-term consequences. In the field of engineering, many techniques have been cultivated to improve the speed and the quality of simulation models. However, health service researchers utilize few of these techniques. My goal is to evaluate the applicability of some these techniques in cancer screening simulation.

I have developed many simulation models in c++ during my time at the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment. I have cultivated a vast computational skill-set for disease modeling. My research builds upon my past experiences, focusing on transferring advanced computer techniques to calibrate cancer screening simulation, model validation, and model comparison. I am the MGH Site Principal Investigator for the Lung Group of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) and participate in comparative modeling projects evaluating lung cancer screening programs and (U.S.) population trends in smoking patterns and lung cancer mortality.

My research consists of three components: (1) the incorporation and evaluation of some engineering optimization methods for the calibration of cancer screening simulation; (2) the development of a validation procedure of the cancer induction component of a cancer screening simulation;(3) establishing a general computational method to refine the simulation model or compare the performances of different simulation models for the same underlying disease.

In summary, my research translates the existing modeling methods to improve health policy simulation models. My methodological research interests focus mainly on the development and calibration of complex microsimulation models.


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  • Tramontano AC, Nipp R, Mercaldo ND, Kong CY, Schrag D, Hur C. Survival Disparities by Race and Ethnicity in Early Esophageal Cancer. Dig Dis Sci 2018. PubMed
  • Peters MLB, Eckel A, Mueller PP, Tramontano AC, Weaver DT, Lietz A, Hur C, Kong CY, Pandharipande PV. Progression to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma from pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia: Results of a simulation model. Pancreatology 2018. PubMed
  • Kong CY, Sigel K, Criss SD, Sheehan DF, Triplette M, Silverberg MJ, Henschke CI, Justice A, Braithwaite RS, Wisnivesky J, Crothers K. Benefits and harms of lung cancer screening in HIV-infected individuals with CD4+ cell count at least 500 cells/μl. AIDS 2018; 32:1333-1342. PubMed
  • Criss SD, Sheehan DF, Palazzo L, Kong CY. Population impact of lung cancer screening in the United States: Projections from a microsimulation model. PLoS Med. 2018; 15:e1002506. PubMed
  • Nipp R, Tramontano AC, Kong CY, Pandharipande P, Dowling EC, Schrag D, Hur C. Disparities in cancer outcomes across age, sex, and race/ethnicity among patients with pancreatic cancer. Cancer Med 2018; 7:525-535. PubMed
  • Eschenfeldt PC, Kartoun U, Heberle CR, Kong CY, Nishioka NS, Ng K, Kamarthi S, Hur C. Analysis of factors associated with extended recovery time after colonoscopy. PLoS ONE 2018; 13:e0199246. PubMed
  • Chu JN, Choi J, Tramontano A, Morse C, Forcione D, Nishioka NS, Abrams JA, Rubenstein JH, Kong CY, Inadomi JM, Hur C. Surgical vs Endoscopic Management of T1 Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: A Modeling Decision Analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017. PubMed
  • Reddy KP, Kong CY, Hyle EP, Baggett TP, Huang M, Parker RA, Paltiel AD, Losina E, Weinstein MC, Freedberg KA, Walensky RP. Lung Cancer Mortality Associated With Smoking and Smoking Cessation Among People Living With HIV in the United States. JAMA Intern Med 2017. PubMed
  • Tramontano AC, Sheehan DF, Yeh JM, Kong CY, Dowling EC, Rubenstein JH, Abrams JA, Inadomi JM, Schrag D, Hur C. The Impact of a Prior Diagnosis of Barrett's Esophagus on Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Survival. Am J Gastroenterol 2017. PubMed
  • Ten Haaf K, Jeon J, Tammemägi MC, Han SS, Kong CY, Plevritis SK, Feuer EJ, de Koning HJ, Steyerberg EW, Meza R. Risk prediction models for selection of lung cancer screening candidates: A retrospective validation study. PLoS Med. 2017; 14:e1002277. PubMed
  • Heberle CR, Omidvari AH, Ali A, Kroep S, Kong CY, Inadomi JM, Rubenstein JH, Tramontano AC, Dowling EC, Hazelton WD, Luebeck EG, Lansdorp-Vogelaar I, Hur C. Cost-Effectiveness of Screening Patients with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease for Barrett's Esophagus With a Minimally Invasive Cell Sampling Device. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017. PubMed
  • Kroep S, Heberle CR, Curtius K, Kong CY, Lansdorp-Vogelaar I, Ali A, Wolf WA, Shaheen NJ, Spechler SJ, Rubenstein JH, Nishioka NS, Meltzer SJ, Hazelton WD, van Ballegooijen M, Tramontano AC, Gazelle GS, Luebeck EG, Inadomi JM, Hur C. Impact of Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment of Barrett's Esophagus on Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: A Comparative Modeling Analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017. PubMed
  • Han SS, Ten Haaf K, Hazelton WD, Munshi VN, Jeon J, Erdogan SA, Johanson C, McMahon PM, Meza R, Kong CY, Feuer EJ, de Koning HJ, Plevritis SK. The impact of overdiagnosis on the selection of efficient lung cancer screening strategies. Int. J. Cancer 2017. PubMed
  • Lubitz C, Ali A, Zhan T, Heberle C, White C, Ito Y, Miyauchi A, Gazelle GS, Kong CY, Hur C. The thyroid cancer policy model: A mathematical simulation model of papillary thyroid carcinoma in The U.S. population. PLoS ONE 2017; 12:e0177068. PubMed
  • Sheehan DF, Criss SD, Gazelle GS, Pandharipande PV, Kong CY. Evaluating lung cancer screening in China: Implications for eligibility criteria design from a microsimulation modeling approach. PLoS ONE 2017; 12:e0173119. PubMed
  • Pandharipande PV, Heberle C, Dowling EC, Kong CY, Tramontano A, Perzan KE, Brugge W, Hur C. Targeted Screening of Individuals at High Risk for Pancreatic Cancer: Results of a Simulation Model. Radiology 2015; 278:306. PubMed
  • Tramontano AC, Sheehan DF, McMahon PM, Dowling EC, Holford TR, Ryczak K, Lesko SM, Levy DT, Kong CY. Evaluating the impacts of screening and smoking cessation programmes on lung cancer in a high-burden region of the USA: a simulation modelling study. BMJ Open 2016; 6:e010227. PubMed
  • Hur C, Tramontano AC, Dowling EC, Brooks GA, Jeon A, Brugge WR, Gazelle GS, Kong CY, Pandharipande PV. Early Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Survival Is Dependent on Size: Positive Implications for Future Targeted Screening. Pancreas 2015. PubMed
  • Pandharipande PV, Jeon A, Heberle CR, Dowling EC, Kong CY, Chung DC, Brugge WR, Hur C. Screening for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma in BRCA2 Mutation Carriers: Results of a Disease Simulation Model. EBioMedicine 2016; 2:1980-6. PubMed
  • Lowry KP, Gazelle GS, Gilmore ME, Johanson C, Munshi V, Choi SE, Tramontano AC, Kong CY, McMahon PM. Personalizing annual lung cancer screening for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A decision analysis. Cancer 2015. PubMed
  • Hur C, Choi SE, Kong CY, Wang GQ, Xu H, Polydorides AD, Xue LY, Perzan KE, Tramontano AC, Richards-Kortum RR, Anandasabapathy S. High-resolution microendoscopy for esophageal cancer screening in China: A cost-effectiveness analysis. World J Gastroenterol 2015; 21:5513-23. PubMed
  • Pandharipande PV, Heberle C, Dowling EC, Kong CY, Tramontano A, Perzan KE, Brugge W, Hur C. Targeted screening of individuals at high risk for pancreatic cancer: results of a simulation model. Radiology 2015; 275:177-87. PubMed
  • Swan JS, Kong CY, Hur C, Halpern EF, Itauma O, Williams O, Motazedi T, Lee JM. Comparing morbidities of testing with a new index: screening colonoscopy versus core-needle breast biopsy. J Am Coll Radiol 2015; 12:295-301. PubMed
  • Kang SK, Turan EA, Eisenberg JD, Lee PA, Kong CY, Pandharipande PV. Microsimulation model of CT versus MRI surveillance of Bosniak IIF renal cystic lesions: should effects of radiation exposure affect selection of imaging strategy? AJR Am J Roentgenol 2014; 203:W629-36. PubMed
  • Kiatpongsan S, Meng L, Eisenberg JD, Herring M, Avery LL, Kong CY, Pandharipande PV. Imaging for appendicitis: should radiation-induced cancer risks affect modality selection? Radiology 2014; 273:472-82. PubMed
  • Meza R, ten Haaf K, Kong CY, Erdogan A, Black WC, Tammemagi MC, Choi SE, Jeon J, Han SS, Munshi V, van Rosmalen J, Pinsky P, McMahon PM, de Koning HJ, Feuer EJ, Hazelton WD, Plevritis SK. Comparative analysis of 5 lung cancer natural history and screening models that reproduce outcomes of the NLST and PLCO trials. Cancer 2014. PubMed
  • Kong CY, Kroep S, Curtius K, Hazelton WD, Jeon J, Meza R, Heberle CR, Miller MC, Choi SE, Lansdorp-Vogelaar I, van Ballegooijen M, Feuer EJ, Inadomi JM, Hur C, Luebeck EG. Exploring the recent trend in esophageal adenocarcinoma incidence and mortality using comparative simulation modeling. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2014. PubMed
  • Enns EA, Cipriano LE, Simons CT, Kong CY. Identifying Best-Fitting Inputs in Health-Economic Model Calibration: A Pareto Frontier Approach. Med Decis Making 2014. PubMed
  • Eisenberg JD, Gilmore ME, Kalra MK, Kong CY, Pandharipande PV. Prioritizing examination-centered over patient-centered dose reduction: a hazard of institutional "benchmarking". AJR Am J Roentgenol 2014; 202:1062-8. PubMed
  • de Koning HJ, Meza R, Plevritis SK, ten Haaf K, Munshi VN, Jeon J, Erdogan SA, Kong CY, Han SS, van Rosmalen J, Choi SE, Pinsky PF, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Berg CD, Black WC, Tammemägi MC, Hazelton WD, Feuer EJ, McMahon PM. Benefits and harms of computed tomography lung cancer screening strategies: a comparative modeling study for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2014; 160:311-20. PubMed
  • Choi SE, Perzan KE, Tramontano AC, Kong CY, Hur C. Statins and aspirin for chemoprevention in Barrett's esophagus: results of a cost-effectiveness analysis. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa) 2014. PubMed
  • Rose J, Augestad KM, Kong CY, Meropol NJ, Kattan MW, Hong Q, An X, Cooper GS. A simulation model of colorectal cancer surveillance and recurrence. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2014; 14:29. PubMed
  • McMahon PM, Meza R, Plevritis SK, Black WC, Tammemagi CM, Erdogan A, ten Haaf K, Hazelton W, Holford TR, Jeon J, Clarke L, Kong CY, Choi SE, Munshi VN, Han SS, van Rosmalen J, Pinsky PF, Moolgavkar S, de Koning HJ, Feuer EJ. Comparing benefits from many possible computed tomography lung cancer screening programs: extrapolating from the National Lung Screening Trial using comparative modeling. PLoS ONE 2014; 9:e99978. PubMed
  • Swan JS, Kong CY, Lee JM, Itauma O, Halpern EF, Lee PA, Vavinskiy S, Williams O, Zoltick ES, Donelan K. Patient and societal value functions for the testing morbidities index. Med Decis Making 2013; 33:819-38. PubMed
  • Pandharipande PV, Eisenberg JD, Avery LL, Gunn ML, Kang SK, Megibow AJ, Turan EA, Harvey HB, Kong CY, Dowling EC, Halpern EF, Donelan K, Gazelle GS. Journal club: How radiation exposure histories influence physician imaging decisions: a multicenter radiologist survey study. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2013; 200:1275-83. PubMed
  • Tramontano AC, Cipriano LE, Kong CY, Shepard JA, Lanuti M, Gazelle GS, McMahon PM. Microsimulation model predicts survival benefit of radiofrequency ablation and stereotactic body radiotherapy versus radiotherapy for treating inoperable stage I non-small cell lung cancer. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2013; 200:1020-7. PubMed
  • Hur C, Miller M, Kong CY, Dowling EC, Nattinger KJ, Dunn M, Feuer EJ. Trends in esophageal adenocarcinoma incidence and mortality. Cancer 2013; 119:1149-58. PubMed
  • Cott Chubiz JE, Lee JM, Gilmore ME, Kong CY, Lowry KP, Halpern EF, McMahon PM, Ryan PD, Gazelle GS. Cost-effectiveness of alternating magnetic resonance imaging and digital mammography screening in BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation carriers. Cancer 2013; 119:1266-76. PubMed
  • Pandharipande PV, Eisenberg JD, Lee RJ, Gilmore ME, Turan EA, Singh S, Kalra MK, Liu B, Kong CY, Gazelle GS. Patients with testicular cancer undergoing CT surveillance demonstrate a pitfall of radiation-induced cancer risk estimates: the timing paradox. Radiology 2013; 266:896-904. PubMed
  • Hur C, Choi SE, Rubenstein JH, Kong CY, Nishioka NS, Provenzale DT, Inadomi JM. The cost effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation for Barrett's esophagus. Gastroenterology 2012; 143:567-75. PubMed
  • McMahon PM, Kong CY, Johnson BE, Weinstein MC, Weeks JC, Tramontano AC, Cipriano LE, Bouzan C, Gazelle GS. Chapter 9: The MGH-HMS lung cancer policy model: tobacco control versus screening. Risk Anal 2012; 32 Suppl 1:S117-24. PubMed
  • Omer ZB, Ananthakrishnan AN, Nattinger KJ, Cole EB, Lin JJ, Kong CY, Hur C. Aspirin protects against Barrett's esophagus in a multivariate logistic regression analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012. PubMed
  • Moolgavkar SH, Holford TR, Levy DT, Kong CY, Foy M, Clarke L, Jeon J, Hazelton WD, Meza R, Schultz F, McCarthy W, Boer R, Gorlova O, Gazelle GS, Kimmel M, McMahon PM, de Koning HJ, Feuer EJ. Impact of reduced tobacco smoking on lung cancer mortality in the United States during 1975-2000. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2012. PubMed
  • Kong CY, Nattinger KJ, Hayeck TJ, Omer ZB, Wang YC, Spechler SJ, McMahon PM, Gazelle GS, Hur C. The impact of obesity on the rise in esophageal adenocarcinoma incidence: estimates from a disease simulation model. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2011. PubMed
  • McMahon PM, Kong CY, Bouzan C, Weinstein MC, Cipriano LE, Tramontano AC, Johnson BE, Weeks JC, Gazelle GS. Cost-effectiveness of computed tomography screening for lung cancer in the United States. J Thorac Oncol 2011; 6:1841-8. PubMed
  • Fennessy FM, Kong CY, Tempany CM, Swan JS. Quality-of-life assessment of fibroid treatment options and outcomes. Radiology 2011. PubMed
  • Swan JS, Ying J, Stahl J, Kong CY, Moy B, Roy J, Halpern E. Initial development of the Temporary Utilities Index: a multiattribute system for classifying the functional health impact of diagnostic testing. Qual Life Res 2010; 19:401-12. PubMed
  • Lee JM, McMahon PM, Kong CY, Kopans DB, Ryan PD, Ozanne EM, Halpern EF, Gazelle GS. Cost-effectiveness of breast MR imaging and screen-film mammography for screening BRCA1 gene mutation carriers. Radiology 2010; 254:793-800. PubMed
  • Prosser LA, Kong CY, Rusinak D, Waisbren SL. Projected costs, risks, and benefits of expanded newborn screening for MCADD. Pediatrics 2010; 125:e286-94. PubMed
  • Hur C, Hayeck TJ, Yeh JM, Richards EB, Spechler SJ, Gazelle GS, Kong CY. Development, calibration, and validation of a U.S. white male population-based simulation model of esophageal adenocarcinoma. PLoS ONE 2010; 5:e9483. PubMed
  • Aminetzach YT, Srouji JR, Kong CY, Hoekstra HE. Convergent evolution of novel protein function in shrew and lizard venom. Curr Biol 2009; 19:1925-31. PubMed
  • Hur C,Broughton DE,Kong CY,Ozanne EM,Richards EB,Truong T,Gazelle GS. Patient Preferences for the Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer. Dig Dis Sci 2009; 54:2207-14. PubMed
  • Kong CY, McMahon PM, Gazelle GS. Calibration of disease simulation model using an engineering approach. Value Health 2009; 12:521-9. PubMed
  • Stout NK, Knudsen AB, Kong CY, McMahon PM, Gazelle GS. Calibration methods used in cancer simulation models and suggested reporting guidelines. 2009; 27:533-45. PubMed
  • McMahon PM, Kong CY, Weinstein MC, Tramontano AC, Cipriano LE, Johnson BE, Weeks JC, Gazelle GS. Adopting helical CT screening for lung cancer : potential health consequences during a 15-year period. Cancer 2008; 113:3440-9. PubMed
  • McMahon PM, Kong CY, Johnson BE, Weinstein MC, Weeks JC, Kuntz KM, Shepard JA, Swensen SJ, Gazelle GS. Estimating Long-term Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Screening in the Mayo CT Screening Study. Radiology 2008; 248:278-87. PubMed
  • Yeh JM,Kuntz KM,Ezzati M,Hur C,Kong CY,Goldie SJ. Development of an empirically calibrated model of gastric cancer in two high-risk countries. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008; 17:1179-87. PubMed
  • Muthukumar M, Kong CY. Simulation of polymer translocation through protein channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006; 103:5273-8. PubMed
  • Kong CY, Muthukumar M. Simulations of stochastic sensing of proteins. J Am Chem Soc 2005; 127:18252-61. PubMed
  • C.Y. Kong, P.M. McMahon, and G.S. Gazelle. Calibration of Disease Simulation Model Using an Engineering Approach VIH 2009.