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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Research Training Opportunities in Metabolic Epidemiology

The Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) conducts research to identify risk factors for a wide range of malignancies, in particular those associated with lifestyle and environmental factors that influence metabolic response to a given exposure. Fellows in MEB:

  • collaborate and learn from investigators in a world-renowned research program;
  • have access to large population-based studies with biological specimens;
  • learn how to validate biomarkers determined by new molecular techniques;
  • apply new biomarkers to large epidemiological studies;
  • have opportunities to initiate new investigations and to compete for funding; and
  • are compensated comparable to or exceeding most entry-level academic positions.

For application details, see below. To discuss potential research opportunities, you may contact branch investigators directly. Meet fellows in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch.


Postdoctoral fellowships: Individuals must either hold a doctorate degree in or be enrolled in a doctoral program in epidemiology. Individuals with a strong understanding of biological processes are encouraged to apply. Fellowship training is for up to 5 years under the supervision of NCI senior scientists.

Predoctoral fellowships: Individuals must either be enrolled in a doctoral program with the desire to complete their dissertation in MEB, or have a Master's degree in a field relevant to MEB.

Application Process

Predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship applications in the branch are accepted on an ongoing basis. See the Become a Fellow page for an overview, qualifications, and application details. Branch-specific opportunities are listed below.

Training Opportunities

Examples of research opportunities include:

  • Assessment of gene-environment interactions in multiple large population-based studies
  • Bone density, endogenous hormones, and cancer risk
  • Performance of low-cost screening strategies for underserved populations for certain malignancies
  • Biomarker discovery and validation
  • Clinical and molecular epidemiology methods
  • Etiologic studies of specific cancer sites, including breast, esophagus, stomach, colorectum, pancreas, liver, ovary, and prostate;
  • Integrative studies of multifactorial nutritional exposures, such as dietary patterns and glycemic load;
  • Energy balance studies, including those focusing on body size and physical activity studies;
  • Molecular epidemiologic studies to investigate genetic and hormonal interactions in nutrition-related cancer;
  • Improving exposure assessment tools for energy balance, dietary intake, biomarkers, and others

Training Opportunities with Specific Investigators

Epidemiology of Pancreatic Cancer - Postdoctoral or Predoctoral Fellowship