Meet the current fellows in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch and learn about research training opportunities.
Kathryn Hughes Barry, Ph.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) in 2009 as a predoctoral fellow through the Yale/NCI Partnership Training program. Dr. Barry received a B.S. from Tufts University in 2003, and her M.P.H. from Yale University in 2005. Prior to beginning her doctoral program, she spent two years as a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow at the Washington State Department of Health, where she engaged in cluster investigations of non-infectious conditions, including childhood and breast cancers and aplastic anemia. In her dissertation research in OEEB, Dr. Barry investigated cancer risk associated with pesticide exposures and the modifying role of inherited genetic variation in DNA repair genes in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS). After receiving her Ph.D. from Yale in 2011, Dr. Barry was promoted to postdoctoral fellow. She is working with Michael C. R. Alavanja, Dr.P.H, senior investigator, OEEB, to continue her research on pesticides and their interactions with genetic factors with respect to cancer risk in the AHS . In addition, Dr. Barry is working with Sonja Berndt, Pharm.D., Ph.D., investigator, OEEB, to study the relationship between epigenetic variation, genetic variation, and cancer risk, as well as epigenetic variation associated with occupational/environmental exposures, in various studies. She is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the Society for Epidemiologic Research.
Bryan Bassig, Ph.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a predoctoral fellow in August 2012 as part of the Yale/NCI Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology, , and became a postdoctoral fellow in June 2015. Dr. Bassig received his B.S. in health services with minors in biology and bioethics from Saint Joseph’s University in 2008. He received his M.P.H. degree in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in 2010, and a Ph.D. in environmental cancer epidemiology from Yale in 2015. For his dissertation research, Dr. Bassig worked with Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, OEEB, Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., senior investigator, OEEB, and his Yale mentor Dr. Tongzhang Zheng to evaluate molecular, genetic, and environmental risk factors for lymphoid malignancies in eastern Asia using data from several case-control and prospective studies. In addition to these research activities, Dr. Bassig is involved in other OEEB studies, including a hospital-based case-control study of lympho neoplasms in Asia (AsiaLymph) and cross-sectional molecular epidemiology studies of workers occupationally exposed to trichloroethylene and benzene. Prior to joining OEEB, Dr. Bassig held research positions at the Yale School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Department of Health.
Benjamin Booth, M.S., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a predoctoral fellow in April 2013. He earned a B.S. in health promotion and education from the University of Utah in 2007 and a M.S. in epidemiology from the University of Iowa College of Public Health in 2009. He is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. Under the mentorship of Mary Ward, Ph.D., senior investigator, OEEB, and Dr. Leslie Stayner, Professor, UIC, Mr. Booth is investigating associations between several routes of pesticide exposure and childhood cancer occurrence in U.S. populations. He is also evaluating childhood cancer risk in European populations from the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium. He is a member of the Society for Epidemiologic Research.
Yufei Dai, Ph.D., M.S., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a visiting fellow in December 2014. Dr. Dai received her Ph.D. in toxicology from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China in 2005 and an M.S. in biochemistry from the Jilin University, China in 1997. Dr. Dai is a professor in the Institute of Occupational Health and Poison Control, China CDC. Her research is focused on the harmful effects of environmental and occupational chemicals, particularly on the immunological biomarkers and pathogenesis of hypersensitivity dermatitis induced by occupational exposure to trichloroethylene. Dr. Dai is conducting research in OEEB on the molecular epidemiology study of workers exposed to diesel exhaust and carbon black in China. Her primary mentors are Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., both senior investigators, OEEB.
Rena Jones, Ph.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2012, and was promoted to a Research Fellow in early 2014. Dr. Jones’ research focuses on environmental exposures and the application and validation of spatial-analytical approaches for epidemiologic studies. She received a B.S. in biology from the University of Massachusetts and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in epidemiology from the University at Albany, SUNY School of Public Health. Her doctoral dissertation investigated health risks associated with ambient outdoor particulate matter and the validity of spatial imputation methods for GIS-based exposure assessment. She is currently involved in several OEEB projects and DCEG collaborations. Under the mentorship of OEEB senior investigator Dr.Mary Ward, and the direction of OEEB investigator Dr. Laura Beane Freeman, she is conducting research on multiple environmental exposures and cancer risk. Working with OEEB Chief Dr. Debra Silverman, Dr. Jones is also co-principal investigator of a study of outdoor particulate air pollution and lung cancer risk. She is a member of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, the International Society of Exposure Science, and the American College of Epidemiology, and is past President of the Society for Epidemiologic Research Student and Postdoctoral Committee. She is the recipient of an NCI Sallie Rosen Kaplan fellowship, an NCI Director’s Career Development Innovation award, and the DCEG Fellows Award for Research Excellence.
Catherine Lerro, M.P.H., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) in August, 2013 as a predoctoral fellow within the Yale-NCI Cooperative Graduate Training Program in cancer epidemiology. Ms. Lerro received her B.A. her in public health studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and her M.P.H. in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She was previously a summer fellow at NCI and wrote her master’s thesis under the mentorship of Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., investigator, HREB, and Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deputy Chief of HREB. Ms. Lerro also spent two years working as an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia. She is now working with Laura Beane Freeman, Ph.D., investigator, OEEB, to analyze pesticides and cancer risk in the Agricultural Health Study.
Amy Moore, Ph.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) in January 2015. Dr. Moore received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2014. Working with Dr. Daniel A. Enquobahrie, her dissertation was a candidate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) study of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in young adults of the Jerusalem Perinatal Study. During her predoctoral studies, she was a fellow in Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology where she studied genetic and epigenetic risk factors for a variety of outcomes and became interested in the developmental origins of health and disease. Dr. Moore’s research interests include genetic epidemiology, epigenetics, and the developmental origins of chronic diseases. Under the direction of Sonja Berndt, Pharm.D., Ph.D., investigator, OEEB, Dr. Moore examines genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and obesity, including the role of mitochondrial DNA copy number in prostate cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Screening Trial.
Wei Jie Seow, M.S., Sc.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2013. Dr. Seow received her doctorate in environmental molecular epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of reducing environmental exposure to arsenic, as well as genetic and epigenetic interactions, on the risk of precancerous arsenic-induced skin lesions in Bangladesh. Dr. Seow is conducting research in OEEB on the epidemiology of lung cancer in nonsmoking women in Asia; her primary mentors are Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, OEEB, and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., senior investigator, OEEB.
Learn about research training opportunities in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch.