Skip to main content
Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Current Fellows in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch

Meet the fellows in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) and learn about their work.

  • Mustapha Abubakar, M.D., Ph.D.

    Dr. Abubakar, research fellow in ITEB, is conducting integrative patho-epidemiology studies of breast cancer, to improve our understanding of the natural history of cancer and to uncover tissue biomarkers of cancer risk, progression, and clinical outcomes. His mentors are Gierach Gretchen, Ph.D., M.P.H., Montserrat García-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Xiaohong Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Derek Brown, Ph.D.

    Dr. Brown, an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, is working with Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D., M.P.H., on clonal genetic mosaicism and cancer risk. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Brown investigated novel propensity score methods for non-binary treatments. His work currently focuses on the role played by germline genetics and somatic mutations on future cancer risk.

  • Frank J. Colón-Matos, B.S.

    Mr. Colón-Matos, an iCURE postbaccalaureate fellow in ITEB, works with Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., Ph.D. on the Sherlock-Lung study, collecting and analyzing epidemiological and clinical data and participating in the design and implementation of the pathology-related work within the study.

  • Rajrupa Ghosh, M.P.H., M.Sc.

    Ms. Ghosh, an NIH Graduate Partnership Program predoctoral fellow in ITEB, is working on her dissertation under the mentorship of Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., and Cher Dallal, Ph.D., UMD. Ms. Ghosh is interested in exploring the relationship between hormones, adjuvant therapies, and breast cancer outcomes.

  • Alexandra R. Harris, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.

    Dr. Harris, postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, investigates the molecular underpinnings of breast cancer risk factors and their influence on tumor development, microenvironment, and progression. Her primary mentor is Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Lubna Hossain, B.S.

    Ms. Hossain, postbaccalaureate fellow title in ITEB, is investigating tissue biomarkers of risk, progression, and survival in breast cancer using computational patho-epidemiology. Her mentors are Mustapha Abubakar, Ph.D., and Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D.

  • Aubrey K. Hubbard, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Hubbard, postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, focuses her research on understanding the role of germline and somatic mutations in the genetic etiology of pediatric cancers, under the mentorship of Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D., M.P.H., Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator.

  • Azhar Khandekar, B.S.

    Mr. Khandekar, an NIH Graduate Partnership Program predoctoral fellow in ITEB, is working on his dissertation research in bioinformatics and systems biology under the supervision of Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., Ph.D., and Ludmil Alexandrov, Ph.D., at the University of California San Diego. Mr. Khandekar is interested in integrating large-scale omics datasets to ultimately elucidate the biological mechanisms that drive cancer formation and progression.

  • Olivia Lee, B.S.

    Ms. Lee, an NIH Graduate Partnership Program predoctoral fellow in ITEB, is working on her dissertation under the mentorship of Stephen Chanock, M.D., Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D., M.P.H., and John Weinstein, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research focuses on profiling the genomic landscape of thyroid cancer metastasis and concurrent tumor, and investigating the interaction between somatic mutations and regulatory germline variants in Ewing Sarcoma.

  • Shu-Hong Lin, Ph.D., M.S.

    Dr. Lin, postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, works with Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D., M.P.H., to explore associations among genetic mosaicism, environmental factors, and cancer risk. His doctoral research focused on identifying genomic and transcriptomic markers related to tumor progression in colorectal adenomas using next-generation sequencing. He also studied circulating biomarkers predictive of outcomes in non-invasive bladder cancer.

  • Brittany Lord, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.

    Dr. Lord, an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, is working with Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., to assess epidemiologic and epigenetic risk factors for breast cancer, focusing on women of African ancestry. Her doctoral research focused on breast cancer disparities in women of African ancestry. She focused on defining the role of the atypical chemokine receptor (ACKR1/DARC) gene in modifying tumor immunogenicity during breast tumorigenesis.

  • Waruiru Mburu, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Mburu, postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, works to examine the etiology and molecular heterogeneity of breast cancer and identify ways to improve access to quality care for breast cancer survivors, focusing on women of African and Asian descent. Her mentor is Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator.

  • Cody Ramin, Ph.D.

    Dr. Ramin, research fellow in REB/ITEB, studies breast cancer etiology and survivorship. Her research primarily focuses on second cancer risk in breast cancer survivors and on the late effects of cancer treatment. Dr. Ramin has closely related interests in the hormonal etiology of breast cancer, breast cancer health disparities, and treatment-related cardiovascular disease. Her mentors are Amy Berrington, D.Phil, and Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Monjoy Saha, Ph.D.

    Dr. Saha, research fellow in ITEB, is working under the mentorship of Dr. Gretchen Gierach, ITEB, Dr. Choonsik Lee, Radiation Epidemiology Branch, and Dr. Jonas Almeida, Data Science & Engineering Research Group, Trans-Divisional Research Program. In his research, Dr. Saha applies artificial intelligence and machine-learning methodologies to pathologic and radiologic medical imaging and epidemiologic data to investigate the etiology and prognosis of cancers. His main areas of focus are cancer grading/screening, risk prediction, survival analysis, pattern recognition, feature classification, computer-aided diagnosis, natural language processing, and cloud computing.

  • Jian Sang, Ph.D.

    Dr. Sang, postdoctoral fellow in ITEB, works with Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., Ph.D., and Tongwu Zhang, Ph.D., to investigate lung cancer pathogenesis by deep mining of whole genome/exome sequencing data. His doctoral studies included public transcriptome and epigenome data integration and analysis. Currently, Dr. Sang's research interest focuses on the identification of novel predisposing genomic signals using large-scale population-based genomic data and the exploration of their potential clinical applications.

  • Sally Lilian Yepes Torres, Ph.D., M.Sc.

    Dr. Yepes, postdoctoral fellow in ITEB/CGB, identifies and further investigates cancer susceptibility genes in familial melanoma and chordoma using integrative analyses of next-generation sequencing and other ‘omics data. Her mentors are Xiaohong (Rose) Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Alisa Goldstein, Ph.D. Her research interests focus on cancer genomics, in particular on the generation of knowledge from a data-driven perspective, and the application of methodological frameworks from the statistical genomics, bioinformatics, and elements of systems biology.

  • Wei Zhao, Ph.D.

    Dr. Zhao, research fellow in ITEB, is working with Maria Teresa Landi, Ph.D., M.D., to investigate the etiology and progression of lung cancer in never smokers through a comprehensive genomic analysis and clinical and epidemiologic assessment. She is currently contributing to the development of computational pipelines for transcriptomic analysis. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Zhao worked to characterize the genomic and clinical heterogeneity of breast cancer subtypes using deep-sequencing and microarray.