Dr. Jill Koshiol received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health in 2005. Subsequently, she joined the Genetic Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics as a Cancer Prevention Fellow. Dr. Koshiol joined the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch as a research fellow in 2008, became an Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator in 2010, and was awarded NIH scientific tenure and promoted to senior investigator in 2020.
Dr. Koshiol has focused her research program on hepatobiliary cancers, which are linked to both infections and inflammation. Biliary tract cancers are rare in much of the world, but there are hotspots where these cancers constitute a major public health burden. Because these cancers are rare in the developed world, their etiology is poorly understood, even with respect to classic cancer risk factors. Biliary tract cancers have a multifactorial etiology, and inflammation is likely central in the carcinogenesis process. Dr. Koshiol’s work is identifying previously unknown risk factors, such as aflatoxin. Identification of such determinants, as well as biomarkers, may lead to new opportunities for cancer prevention and early detection that can be translated into public health impact, particularly in high-risk areas.
Chile is one such high-risk area. Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is a leading cause of cancer death in Chilean women. To investigate the epidemiologic and molecular predictors of gallbladder dysplasia and cancer, Dr. Koshiol initiated the Chile Biliary Longitudinal Study (Chile BiLS). The very high rates of GBC and gallstones in Chile provide a unique opportunity to test several emerging hypotheses that are difficult to examine in other populations.
Dr. Koshiol is also the principal investigator for the Shanghai Biliary Tract Cancer Study and leads the Biliary Tract Cancer Pooling Project and the Cholecystectomy Risk Stratification (CRS) study. In addition, she collaborates on the REVEAL-HBV and -HCV studies of individuals with chronic hepatitis B and C infection. Using these studies and others, she plans to elucidate hepatobiliary cancer etiology and aid cancer prevention through the identification of cancer-related molecular pathways and targets.
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