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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Nutritional Epidemiology Branch

Discovering the nutritional causes of cancer

The Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB) conducts interdisciplinary research to understand diet/nutritional status, energy balance, metabolism, lifestyle factors, and their relationships to cancer.

Research Mission

The mission of the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB) is to define the causal relationships between diet/nutritional status, energy balance, metabolism, lifestyle factors, and cancer. Our research encompasses diet, energy balance/obesity/physical activity, specific nutrients and supplements, diet-related additives, contaminants, metabolites, and intermediate biologic markers. Learn more about NEB research areas.


Training and mentoring the next generation of scientists is a key component of NEB’s mission, and we provide research training for tenure-track investigators, post-doctoral fellows, doctoral students, masters and post-baccalaureate students, visiting fellows, and summer interns. During the past 10 years, NEB has trained 8 tenure-track investigators, 30 postdoctoral fellows, and 10 predoctoral fellows. Meet the current NEB fellows and found out about our research training opportunities.

Tools, Methods and Resources

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

NEB Highlights

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 (E-pub 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 (E-pub ahead of print)