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Current Fellows in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch

Meet the fellows in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) and learn about their work.

  • Leila Abar, Ph.D.

    Dr. Abar, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, is working on lifestyle-related modifiable risk factors, mainly diet, and causal determinants of colorectal cancer risk, under the mentorship of Dr. Erikka Loftfield.

  • Zeinab Farhat, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Farhat, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, investigates modifiable risk factors, particularly diet, for colorectal cancer using an integrated omics approach to better understand the impact of human and microbial metabolism on diet-cancer associations. Her mentor is Erikka Loftfield, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Joshua R. Freeman, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Freeman, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, investigates the role of sleep timing and circadian disruption in health outcomes—specifically, the association between sleep and circadian exposures and cancer risk. In addition, he conducts methodologic studies to better understand the variability in key exposure metrics in this area of study, and to develop new modeling approaches for investigating behavioral exposures that may lead to circadian disruption and increased cancer risk. His mentor is Charles Matthews, Ph.D.

  • Andres J. Gutierrez Escobar, Ph.D.

    Dr. Gutierrez Escobar, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, works on the Helicobacter pylori Genome Project under the mentorship of M. Constanza Camargo, Ph.D., and Charles Rabkin, M.D., Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch (IIB), as well as a gastric cancer genome-wide association study in Hispanics/Latinos. His mentors in MEB are Dr. Camargo and Christian Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Daniela S. Gutiérrez-Torres, Sc.D., M.S.

    Dr. Gutiérrez-Torres, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, is analyzing the impact of occasional smoking on cancer risk and mortality in the United States and worldwide. Her mentor is Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Wayne Lawrence, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

    Dr. Lawrence is a research fellow in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch. He investigates racial/ethnic cancer disparities under the mentorship of Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.H.S., and Meredith Shiels, Ph.D., M.H.S.

  • Kathleen M. McClain, Ph.D., M.S.

    Dr. McClain, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, works on studies examining the components of energy balance, metabolomics, and cancer. Her mentor is Steven C. Moore, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • John D. (Jack) Murphy, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Murphy, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, investigates the etiology and prevention of precancerous gastric lesions with the goal of elucidating their risk factors and reducing the incidence of, and mortality from, stomach cancer. His mentor is M. Constanza Camargo.

  • Mahdi Nalini, M.D., Ph.D.

    Dr. Nalini, visiting postdoctoral fellow in MEB, studies metabolomics and exposure biomarkers in cancer and other chronic diseases, within collaborations between NCI and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the International Hundred K+ Cohort Consortium. His mentors are Arash Etemadi, M.D., Ph.D., and Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D.

    Dr. Saint-Maurice, research fellow in MEB, evaluates the impact of physical activity on health during midlife by examining activity duration patterns, intensity, and timing. He has also examined the relationship between daily step count and stepping intensity (steps/minute) with mortality in both healthy adults and adults with chronic conditions, including cancer. In addition, he examines how profiles of sleep and ambulatory movement throughout the day might be associated with cancer risk and mortality. His mentor is Charles Matthews, Ph.D.

  • Alaina Shreves, M.S.

    Ms. Shreves, predoctoral fellow in MEB, is currently pursuing a D.Phil. through the NIH Oxford Cambridge Program. As an NIH Oxford Scholar, she works with Dr. Charles Matthews (MEB) and Oxford mentors Drs. Aiden Doherty and Ruth Travis to investigate what types of physical activity are associated with lower cancer incidence.

  • Eleanor L. Watts, D.Phil., M.P.H.

    Dr. Watts, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, is investigating the role of physical activity in relation to cancer, under the mentorship of Steven C. Moore, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Yukiko Yano, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Yano, Independent Research Scholar and research fellow in MEB, conducts methodologic and etiologic studies of the human oral microbiome as well as studies of risk factors for esophageal and gastric cancer. Her mentors are Christian Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H., Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., and Emily Vogtmann, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Ting Zhang, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Zhang, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, investigates dietary factors, metabolomics, as well as genetic components of these exposures in the etiology of pancreatic cancer in cohort studies, under the mentorship of Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

  • Semi Zouiouich, Ph.D.

    Dr. Zouiouich, postdoctoral fellow in MEB, conducts methodologic studies of the microbiome and etiologic studies of the association of the microbiome with different cancer types. His mentors are Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., Emily Vogtmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Erikka Loftfield, Ph.D., M.P.H.