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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Clinical Epidemiology Unit

The Clinical Epidemiology Unit (CEU) conducts etiologic research with potential clinical and public health applications, and leads studies evaluating population-based early detection and cancer prevention strategies.


CEU has a strong focus on studies of absolute cancer risk, ranging from discovery of risk markers to assay development and evaluation, with the goal of guiding promising markers into clinical and public health use. Risk markers may include genetics, epidemiologic factors, molecular biomarkers, imaging, or any routine clinical test. The risk estimates ultimately inform the development of risk-based guidelines. CEU investigators are actively involved in developing screening and management guidelines for gynecological cancers.

Current research areas include:

  • Molecular epidemiology of HPV and multi-stage pathogenesis of related cancers
  • Screening and prevention of anogenital cancers
  • Etiologic heterogeneity and cell of origin of ovarian cancers
  • Evaluation of risk prediction and early detection strategies for ovarian cancers, in high risk women (BRCA carriers) and in the general population, using novel approaches like lower genital tract sampling
  • Risk prediction and early detection strategies for endometrial cancer that can be applied to individuals at increased risk, either genetic (e.g. Lynch Syndrome) or non-genetic (high BMI, irregular bleeding)
  • Molecular classification of gynecological cancers
  • Studies evaluating novel methodologic approaches to applying risk markers for clinical and public health use

For more information, contact Nicolas Wentzensen, head, Clinical Epidemiology Unit