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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Metabolic Epidemiology Branch

Defining the relationships between diet, energy balance, hormones, tobacco, and cancer

MEB Highlights

Felix AS, Brinton LA, et al. Relationships of tubal ligation to endometrial carcinoma stage and mortality in the NRG Oncology/Gynecologic Oncology Group 210 Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 2015;107:djv158.

Petrick JL*, Sahasrabuddhe VV*, et al. NSAID use and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: the Liver Cancer Pooling Project. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2015; Sep 21 (Epub). *Co-first authors.

Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, et al. Lifetime Adiposity and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Cohort.  Am J Clin Nutr 2013, 98:1057-1065.

Murphy G, et al. Association of seropositivity to Helicobacter species and biliary tract cancer in the ATBC study. Hepatology 2014; May 2 (Epub ahead of print)

Cross AJ, et al. Metabolites of tobacco smoking and colorectal cancer risk. Carcinogenesis 2014 Jul;35:1516-1522.

Yu G, et al. Association between upper digestive tract microbiota and precancerous conditions in the esophagus and stomachCancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2014; 23:735-741.

Goedert JJ, et al. Fecal metabolomics: Assay performance and association with colorectal cancerCarcinogenesis 2014; Jul 18 (Epub ahead of print)

UGI Cancer Research Group

The Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group fosters the exchange of ideas and expertise on UGI cancers among investigators from DCEG, NCI, and the extramural community. 

The Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) conducts interdisciplinary research to understand the role of diet, energy balance, hormones, tobacco, and other exposures in causing and preventing cancer. We study how these exposures relate to a broad variety of cancers with researchers focusing on breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, liver, stomach, ovary, pancreas, and prostate. We use traditional epidemiological methods combined with a variety of molecular methods including genomic analysis, metabolomics, microbiomics, and molecular pathology.

Research Mission

MEB’s research mission is to define causal relationships between diet, energy balance, hormones, tobacco, and cancer. Learn more about MEB research areas.


Training and mentoring the next generation of scientists is a key component of MEB’s mission. We provide research training for tenure-track investigators, post-doctoral fellows, doctoral students, masters and post-baccalaureate students, visiting fellows, and summer interns. Meet the current MEB fellows and find out about our research training opportunities.

Tools, Methods, and Resources

MEB investigators develop Web-based instruments, software tools, and other resources to support epidemiological and translational research. Find out more about MEB tools, methods and resources.

Distinguished Lecture Series

Each year, a prominent scientist is invited to visit for two days to give a lecture and meet with DCEG staff to discuss issues relevant to research on causes of hormonal and reproductive cancers. The objectives of this series are to expand and intensify contacts between intramural and extramural investigators, provide an opportunity for junior staff to meet with distinguished scientists, and stimulate new opportunities for research in the area of hormonal and reproductive cancers. Read more about the Distinguished Lecture Series.

Staff Spotlights

Neal Freedman

Neal Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Freedman conducts multidisciplinary epidemiologic studies to investigate the role of lifestyle and metabolic factors in cancer etiology, in particular the mechanisms by which tobacco products cause cancer and the risk factors for liver cancer. Read more about Dr. Freedman and his research.