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Current Fellows in the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch

Meet the current fellows in the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch and learn about research training opportunities.

Clara Bodelon, Ph.D., M.S. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Clara Bodelon

Clara Bodelon, Ph.D., M.S., joined DCEG as a postdoctoral fellow in January 2011. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Boston University in 2001. From 2002 to 2006, Dr. Bodelon did postdoctoral research at The Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA) attempting to understand the dynamics of visual processing. In 2009, Dr. Bodelon received a Master of Science degree in epidemiology from the University of Washington. While working on this degree, she examined the association between the use of analgesics and the risk of endometrial cancer. She also studied relationships between hormonally-related factors and esophageal cancer and the immunogenetic susceptibility of cervical and vulvar cancers. In her current appointment within the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB), she is working with Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, HREB, on projects related to the molecular epidemiology of ovarian cancer. 

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications)

Jennifer Drahos, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Jennifer Drahos

Jennifer Drahos, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow in September 2011. She earned a B.S. in economics and microbiology with Honors from the University of Iowa and received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Columba University, where she focused on the innate immune response in picornavirus-infected cells. Prior to being awarded the Cancer Prevention Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute in 2010, she was a senior analyst at a healthcare research firm specializing in improving healthcare delivery at hospitals. During her M.P.H. training at the Harvard School of Public Health, she concentrated in quantitative methods and researched the incidence and survival variability by ethnicity of pediatric patients with treatment-induced acute myeloid leukemia. Dr. Drahos is interested in applying epidemiologic methods to investigate the role of chronic inflammation and microbial infection in carcinogenesis, as well as sex differences in cancer pathogenesis. She is currently working with Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., investigator, HREB, and Mahboobeh Safaeian, Ph.D., investigator, IIB, to elucidate the etiology of the distinct stages of esophageal adenocarcinoma as well as investigate the serologic response to HPV natural infection and vaccination. 

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications)

Ashley Felix, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Ashley Felix

Ashley Felix, Ph.D., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a Cancer Prevention Fellow in August, 2011. Prior to joining the branch, Dr. Felix received a B.A. in public health from Johns Hopkins University, an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Her doctoral dissertation focused on tumor-stromal interactions in Type I and Type II endometrial cancers, with a specific focus on the roles of two pathways: CXCL12/CXCR4 and HGF/c-Met/bFGF. Dr. Felix’s research interests include the molecular epidemiology of gynecologic malignancies as a means to identify biomarkers related to etiology and survival outcomes. During her fellowship in HREB, Dr. Felix is continuing to pursue her interests in the etiologic heterogeneity of endometrial cancer as well as expanding her expertise to a variety of tissue markers for endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancers. She is working with several HREB investigators, including Louise A. Brinton, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief of HREB, Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, HREB, and Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., investigator, HREB. 

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications)

Armen Ghazarian, M.P.H. - Predoctoral Fellow

Armen Ghazarian

Armen Ghazarian, M.P.H., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a predoctoral fellow in September 2012 as part of the collaborative doctoral training partnership in cancer epidemiology with  George Washington University. Prior to joining HREB, he worked in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) as an environmental epidemiology CRTA fellow. Mr. Ghazarian attended the University of Maryland, College Park where he received a B.S. in biological sciences in 2008 followed by an M.P.H. in epidemiology in 2011. His master’s thesis focused on socioeconomic disparities of esophageal adenocarcinoma using data from NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. His research interests include cancer and environmental epidemiology, gene and environment interactions, endocrine disruptors, social determinants of health, and hormonally-related cancers including prostate and testicular. Mr. Ghazarian is working with Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deputy Chief of HREB, and Britton Trabert, Ph.D., M.S., HREB, on studies of male cancers.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications)

Scott Kelly, M.S. - Predoctoral Fellow

Scott Kelly, M.S. joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a predoctoral fellow in November 2013 as part of the collaborative doctoral training partnership in cancer epidemiology with  George Washington University. Mr. Kelly received his M.S. in biostatistics and epidemiology from Georgetown University in 2009. His master’s thesis focused on risk factors of congenital cardiovascular malformations for infants born in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Prior to joining the branch, he worked as a biostatistician and data manager within the Cancer Prevention and Control program of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. His research interests include genetic, hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that modify prostate cancer risk, progression, and survival outcomes. For his doctoral dissertation, Mr. Kelly is working with Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., investigator, HREB, on research pertaining to the role of hormonal and genetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer, as well as novel analyses of incidence trends and survival rates.

Zeina Khodr, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Zeina Khodr

Zeina Khodr, Ph.D., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a postdoctoral fellow in February 2012. She previously earned a B.A. in sociology, with a minor in biology, at Trinity University in 2004; an M.S. in human genetics at Tulane University in 2005; an M.P.H. in epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2006; and a Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in 2012. Previous thesis research included a meta-analysis of the association between age and survival in oral cavity cancer patients. Her Ph.D. dissertation research focused on two areas of prevention of birth defects: the relationship between Hispanic acculturation and gastroschisis, and the identification of predictors for preconceptional folic acid supplementation. Dr. Khodr’s research interests include women’s health and breast cancer epidemiology. She is currently working under the mentorship of Jonine Figueroa, Ph.D., M.P.H., investigator, HREB, and Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., investigator, HREB, focusing on the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes, for age at menarche and age at menopause, with terminal duct lobular unit (TDLU) involution. 

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications) 

Sarah Nyante, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarah Nyante

Sarah Nyante, Ph.D., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a postdoctoral fellow in November 2009. She received her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Nyante worked with Dr. Robert Millikan to assess relationships between single nucleotide polymorphisms in adipocytokine and estrogen-related genes and the basal-like and luminal A breast cancer subtypes in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study. As a fellow in DCEG, Dr. Nyante’s research focuses on identification of breast cancer risk factors, and the relationship of these risk factors to different breast cancer types. Collaborations include: an analysis of common genetic variation and breast cancer risk in the Polish Breast Cancer Study under the mentorship of Jonine Figueroa, Ph.D., M.P.H., investigator, HREB; an investigation of whether declines in mammographic density are associated with improved outcomes among ER-positive breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen, with Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., investigator, HREB, and Amy Berrington de González, D.Phil., senior investigator, REB; and analysis of risk factors for different histologic subtypes of breast cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, with Louise A. Brinton, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief of HREB.  

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications)

Jessica Petrick, Ph.D. – Postdoctural Fellow

Jessica Petrick

Jessica L. Petrick, Ph.D., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a postdoctoral fellow in June 2014. She obtained a B.A. in public health studies and medical anthropology, and an M.P.H. (2008) in epidemiology and health policy from Case Western Reserve University.  Dr. Petrick  received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Petrick examined the intake of dietary flavonoids in relation to the incidence of Barrett esophagus and esophageal and gastric cancer, and to survival among esophageal and gastric cancer cases. Her Ph.D. mentor was Dr. Marilie Gammon. In HREB, Dr. Petrick works with Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., Deputy Chief of HREB, on liver cancer studies assessing gender-specific effects of risk factors such as coffee consumption, diabetes, obesity and steroid hormone levels, and with Michael B. Cook, Ph.D. on the effects of adiposity on esophageal adenocarcinoma risk. 

Cindy Zhou, B.Med. - Predoctoral Fellow

Cindy Zhou, B.Med., joined the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) as a predoctoral fellow in October 2012. In 2010, she received her Bachelor of Medicine (B.Med.) in preventive medicine from the West China Center of Medical Sciences, Sichuan University, China. For her B.Med. research project, Ms. Zhou examined socioeconomic and behavioral factors in breast cancer screening among women in southwest China. In 2008 – 2009, she served as a resident in the West China Hospital, Sichuan, China, rotating through the Departments of Oncology, Rehabilitation, Gerontology and General Medicine. In the summer of 2009, Ms. Zhou was an intern with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Zigong, China, working on the HIV/AIDS Sentinel Surveillance program. She has been a Ph.D. student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services since August 2010. In 2011, she worked on several projects related to prostate cancer with Dr. Ann Hsing, formerly a senior investigator in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch. For her doctoral dissertation, Ms. Zhou is working with HREB investigator Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., investigator, HREB, on research pertaining to the etiology of prostate cancer.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications)

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Learn about research training opportunities in the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch.