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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

About DCEG

The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) is a research program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Division is the world’s most comprehensive cancer epidemiology research group. Its renowned epidemiologists, geneticists, and biostatisticians conduct population and multidisciplinary research to discover the genetic and environmental determinants of cancer and new approaches to cancer prevention. The Division’s research informs public health policy in the United States and around the world. To learn more, read our mission statement.

DCEG carries out its research program with a cadre of in-house researchers and trainees. Our investigators conduct research on most cancer organ sites among diverse populations in the United States and around the world.  They utilize a full range of research approaches to study risk factors ranging from workplace exposures to lifestyle choices. For complete descriptions, see an explanation of our research.

The Division has a long-standing commitment to the recruitment, retention, and development of a diverse group of investigators and trainees. Learn more about our efforts to build a diverse workforce.

Research Areas

DCEG research is conducted within two program areas and eight research branches:

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program (EBP) conducts independent and collaborative epidemiological and biostatistical investigations.

Biostatistics Branch
The Biostatistics Branch (BB) develops statistical methods and data resources to support epidemiological studies of cancer, including genetic, descriptive and analytical epidemiology, cancer risk assessment modeling, and other collaborative studies.

Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch
The Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch (IIB) investigates the role of infectious agents and host immunological and inflammatory responses in cancer etiology, using epidemiological and molecular tools within well-characterized population studies. IIB investigators seek to apply the knowledge they gain from these studies to prevention and/or improved risk prediction, diagnosis, or treatment efforts.

Learn about the Data Science Research Group.

Metabolic Epidemiology Branch
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. MEB investigators study how these exposures relate to a broad variety of cancers including breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, liver, stomach, ovary, pancreas, and prostate.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch
The Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) conducts interdisciplinary research to identify occupational, environmental, and other factors affecting cancer risk, characterize exposure-response relationships, identify susceptible populations and gene-environment interactions, clarify biological mechanisms of action, evaluate risk factors for tumor subtypes defined at the histologic and molecular level, and improve research methods for occupational investigations.

Radiation Epidemiology Branch
The Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) carries out a broad-based research program designed to identify, understand, and quantify the risk of cancer in populations exposed to medical, occupational, or environmental radiation.

Human Genetics Program

The Human Genetics Program conducts interdisciplinary research into the genetic determinants of human cancer, taking advantage of advances in molecular genetics and related biomedical sciences.

Clinical Genetics Branch
The Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) conducts multidisciplinary research to advance our understanding of how cancer develops at the molecular level, and to translate this knowledge into effective clinical applications for cancer-prone individuals and families.  

Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch
The Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) employs molecular pathology, somatic and germline genomics, and epidemiology to identify environmental and germline risk factors for cancer.

Laboratory of Translational Genomics
The Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) is committed to understanding the contribution of germline genetic variation to cancer etiology and outcomes. LTG conducts focused studies to explain the functional significance of particular regions of the genome conclusively identified in cancer-specific genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and linkage studies in high-risk families.