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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program (EBP) conducts independent and collaborative epidemiologic and biostatistical investigations to identify the distribution, characteristics, and causes of cancer in human populations. These aims are accomplished through a series of integrated programs of research, including studies of:

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program

Robert N. Hoover, M.D., Sc.D., Director

Program Staff Directory

  1. Demographic variation in the occurrence of cancer by age, race, gender, geography, and over time (i.e., descriptive studies);
  2. Cancer related to occupational and environmental exposures;
  3. Drug-induced cancer (pharmacoepidemiology);
  4. Cancer induced by ionizing and non-ionizing radiation;
  5. Relationship of diet and nutrition to cancer risk;
  6. Microbial origins of cancer (e.g., viruses, bacteria);
  7. Metabolic and hormonal aspects of cancer risk; and
  8. Genetic susceptibility to cancer-causing exposures.

The Program also develops biostatistical methods for population-based studies. In carrying out its research activities, EBP utilizes national and regional statistics, field studies involving questionnaires and biologic specimen collections, and collaborative research with other governmental agencies, academic centers and private sector groups. Emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary studies in which clinical and/or laboratory components are integrated into epidemiologic research designs (biochemical and molecular epidemiology). Studies are often national in scope, and some incorporate international components involving evaluation of unique exposures or unusual cancer risks. Scientific accomplishments range from identifying the reasons for regional differences in breast cancer mortality, to evaluating the possible role of pesticides and other environmental chemicals in risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, to examining the immune response to human papillomavirus infection, to delving into the molecular epidemiology of benzene toxicity.

EBP continues to offer unique training opportunities for postdoctoral fellows, visiting investigators from around the world, and students working on doctoral dissertations or other research projects. The Cancer Epidemiology and Biostatistics Training Program (CEBTP) provides training in the principles and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics and their application to the area of etiologic research in cancer, including mutlidisciplinary studies. The goal of the CEBTP is to expand the pool of experienced epidemiologists and statisticians who can apply their expertise to identify the causes of cancer in human populations and offer the opportunity for cancer prevention efforts. CEBTP trainees include postdoctoral scientists, doctoral candidates working on their dissertation research, and master's-level scientists who are interested in intensive practical training in cancer epidemiology prior to entering a doctoral program. Trainees work closely with and under the general supervision of a preceptor, a senior-level epidemiologist or statistician within the program.