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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Kai Yu, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

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Spotlight on Investigator

""Read Kai Yu's profile (pdf) in the November 2008 Linkage newsletter.

Kai Yu, Ph.D.

Kai Yu, Ph.D.

Organization:National Cancer Institute
Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, Biostatistics Branch
Address:NCI Shady Grove
Room 7E630


Dr. Yu received a Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, and had postdoctoral training in statistical genetics at Stanford University. He joined NCI in 2005 as a tenure-track investigator, and was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH and appointed senior investigator in 2012. His research addresses a wide variety of statistically and computationally challenging problems that have arisen in design and analysis of modern high-dimensional genetic and molecular epidemiologic studies. Dr. Yu has developed an adaptive design framework for replicating findings from previous genetic studies; methods for population stratification adjustment in GWAS; and improved statistical procedures for detecting susceptibility gene, gene-environment interaction, and pathway effects. He has been the primary statistician in many large-scale epidemiologic studies, including GWAS of pancreatic and upper gastrointestinal cancers, as well as the Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers. In 2009, Dr. Yu received an NIH Merit Award for developing creative statistical methods for genetic epidemiologic studies.

Research Interests

  • Statistical methods for genetic epidemiology studies
  • Tree-based models and applications in molecular epidemiology studies
  • MCMC algorithms and applications in genetic studies
  • Population genetics