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Arash Etemadi, M.D., Ph.D.

Arash Etemadi, M.D., Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

NCI Shady Grove | Room 6E328


Dr. Arash Etemadi received an M.D., an M.P.H., and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, he worked on polymorphisms in the genes responsible for the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and DNA repair. Dr. Etemadi was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, before joining DCEG as a postdoctoral visiting fellow in 2010. He was promoted to research fellow in 2015 and became a staff scientist in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) in 2018.

Dr. Etemadi has been the recipient of multiple awards, including an Intramural Research Award, the DCEG Fellows Award for Research Excellence, the NCI Director’s Career Development Innovation Award, the DCEG Fellowship Achievement Award, and the Outstanding Research Paper by a Fellow Award.

Research Interests

As a molecular epidemiologist, Dr. Etemadi’s main research focus is population-based studies on the molecular basis of etiology, early detection, and prevention of chronic diseases, especially cancer.

Emerging exposures

Dr. Etemadi is studying exposures to carcinogens from tobacco and non-tobacco sources in a number of studies and research collaborations. As part of these studies, he is working on health outcomes associated with alternative tobacco products (such as waterpipe or hookah, and smokeless tobacco), using questionnaires and biomarkers.

Another example is his evaluation of the effects of long-term opioid use. With the increasing number of people using opioids over extended periods of time, their long-term health effects pose important concerns. However, studying these health effects is particularly challenging because of the lack of longitudinal data, difficulties in following opioid users over extended periods of time, and the lack of information about the best way to characterize and measure long-term opioid use. Dr. Etemadi’s research is using unique resources and collaborations to overcome these challenges.

Upper gastrointestinal cancers

Dr. Etemadi has a track record of studying upper gastrointestinal tract cancers (i.e. cancers of the esophagus and stomach). He is a member of the DCEG Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Cancer Research Group. He is also a member of several large field studies of UGI cancers in high-incidence areas and helps coordinate MEB’s broad portfolio of international field studies across Asia and Africa. In addition, Dr. Etemadi is an investigator in the the Golestan Cohort Study.