I am a cancer epidemiologist and junior investigator with broad interest in lifestyle, medication, and genetic factors that are related to the early detection, prevention and prognosis of major cancers. Cancer risk prediction modeling is one of my research focuses. I developed an absolute risk assessment tool for advanced colorectal adenoma that incorporated age, family history, and lifestyle factors, which can be used to provide guidance regarding individual/population strategies for colorectal cancer screening (Int J Cancer, 2015). I also built a risk prediction model of breast cancer under age 50 to help stratify risk among younger women who are not covered by routine mammography (Submitted).
Cancer chemoprevention is another theme of my research. I led analysis to examine the full constellation of potential benefits of long-term aspirin use in total cancer prevention in two large prospective studies (JAMA Oncol, 2016). I also investigated the role of host immunity in mediating the chemopreventive benefits of aspirin in colorectal cancer (Gastroenterology, 2016). In my pending NCI K07 Career Development Award, I will examine the benefits and risks of daily low-dose aspirin use in a large randomized trial among the elderly, and recalibrate the net benefits of aspirin use according to screening, and predicted cancer risk using clinical, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors. The award will help me extend expertise in cancer epidemiology to health outcomes research and decision sciences.
I also had research experience in diet, microbiome, and genetic risk factors for cancer. For example, my work on light to moderate alcohol intake and total cancer incidence (BMJ, 2015) elucidated the long confounded effects of alcohol on cancer by smoking history, and would convey important public health message on the appropriate level of drinking. Utilizing data from the U.S. National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium and advanced statistical methods, I demonstrated that IGF pathway was significantly associated with prostate cancer mortality (J Natl Cancer Inst., 2014). Recently, we also identified the roles of antibiotics (Gut, 2017) and microbiome in colorectal carcinogenesis (Gut, 2016; JAMA Oncol., 2017).
Moving forward, I will continue work in risk prediction, chemoprevention, and lifestyle risk factors for cancers, with a particular focus on colorectal cancer and young-onset colorectal cancer. I will also utilize molecular, genomic, and metabolomic technologies as well as tools in health outcomes research, to develop personalized cancer prevention and early detection strategies.