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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Metabolic Epidemiology Branch

Defining the relationships between diet, energy balance, hormones, tobacco, and cancer

UGI Cancer Research Group

The Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group fosters the exchange of ideas and expertise on UGI cancers among investigators from DCEG, NCI, and the extramural community. 

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Investigators in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) conduct interdisciplinary research to understand the role of metabolic and lifestyle exposures in causing and preventing cancer. Some of the potentially modifiable exposures we study include diet, hormones, physical activity, and tobacco. We study how these exposures relate to a broad variety of cancers with researchers focusing on breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, liver, stomach, ovary, pancreas, prostate, and testis. We use traditional epidemiological methods combined with a variety of molecular methods including genomic analysis, metabolomics, microbiomics, and molecular pathology.

Research Mission

MEB’s research mission is to conduct collaborative high-impact epidemiological research on metabolic and lifestyle causes of cancer that will guide prevention and early intervention strategies worldwide.

We define causal relationships between diet, energy balance, hormones, tobacco, and cancer. Learn more about MEB research areas.

Fellowships

Training and mentoring the next generation of scientists is a key component of MEB’s mission. We provide research training for tenure-track investigators, post-doctoral fellows, doctoral students, masters and post-baccalaureate students, visiting fellows, and summer interns. Meet the current MEB fellows and find out about our research training opportunities.

Tools, Methods, and Resources

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

Staff Spotlights

Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Gierach has developed an interdisciplinary breast cancer research program with a special emphasis on the epidemiology of breast density, one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer. Her work employs a range of technologies and approaches to improve the measurement of density, delineate risk factors for elevated density, and understand mechanisms that mediate its relationship to breast cancer risk.