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Current Fellows in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch

Meet the current fellows in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch and learn about ITEB research training opportunities.

Mustapha Abubakar, M.D., Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow

Mustapha Abubakar, M.D., Ph.D., joined the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) as a postdoctoral fellow in June 2017. Dr. Abubakar earned his medical degree from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria in 2006. He trained in general pathology from 2009-2011 in the Department of Pathology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. In 2012, he received his M.Sc. in epidemiology from the Imperial College London, United Kingdom, and obtained his Ph.D. in molecular epidemiology from the University of London’s Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London in 2017. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Abubakar worked under the direction of Professors Montserrat García-Closas, Anthony Swerdlow, and Mitch Dowsett to develop a digital pathology protocol for the high-throughput scoring of KI67 in breast cancer tissue microarrays and investigate etiological and prognostic heterogeneity among breast cancer subtypes defined by KI67 and other immunohistochemical markers. In DCEG, he is working with Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, to conduct molecular epidemiological studies that evaluate the relationship between histopathological characteristics of breast tissues with radiologically determined mammographic density and breast cancer risk. He is also working with Montserrat García-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., Deputy Director, DCEG, and Xiaohong Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator ITEB, to conduct molecular epidemiological studies of breast cancer subtypes in different populations.

Scientific Publications - Mustapha Abubakar

Mengmeng Jia, M.D. – Predoctoral Fellow

Mengmeng Jia, M.D., joined the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) as a predoctoral fellow in October 2018. Dr. Jia earned her M.D. in preventive medicine from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, in 2015. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in cancer epidemiology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College. Dr. Jia’s research focuses on the screening and early detection of breast cancer and evaluation of different screening modalities, especially in resource-limited areas.

Dr. Jia works with Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deputy Director, ITEB, to conduct molecular epidemiologic studies of breast density and breast cancer.

Scientific Publications - Mengmeng Jia

Michael Kebede B.S. – Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Michael Kebede, B.S, joined the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) in September 2018 as a postbaccalaureate fellow, while pursuing an M.P.H. in epidemiology from George Washington University (GWU), Washington, DC. Prior joining ITEB, Mr. Kebede graduated from GWU in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a pre-med concentration. While earning his M.P.H., he previously worked as a departmental graduate teaching assistant for the GWU Exercise and Nutrition Science department, where he taught anatomy and physiology in a laboratory and nutrition science. More recently, he worked as a summer intern in the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) with Shahinaz Gadalla, M.D., Ph.D., investigator, and Rotana Alsaggaf, Ph.D., M.S., postdoctoral fellow, on a study of myotonic dystrophy and cancer—work that he is continuing for his master’s thesis. Following this, he spent one month at the World Health Organization completing an influenza surveillance internship for which he was selected.  In ITEB, he is working under the mentorship of Maria Tere Landi, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, studying the etiology and epidemiology of lung cancer in never smokers. Mr. Kebede’s primary research interests include the epidemiology and quantitative analysis of chronic diseases including cancer.

Scientific Publications – Michael Kebede

Brittny Davis Lynn, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Brittny Davis Lynn, postdoctoral fellow

Brittny Davis Lynn, Ph.D., MPH joined the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) as an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow in September 2016.  Dr. Davis Lynn earned her B.S. in chemistry from Jackson State University in 2009, and completed her Ph.D. in computational chemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2015. Dr. Davis Lynn received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA, F-31) for her dissertation work, which investigated the molecular origins of allostery for the RNA Polymerase from the hepatitis C virus via computational methods. As part of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship, Dr. Davis Lynn completed her M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in May 2016. Since her arrival at NCI, Dr. Davis Lynn has searched for creative ways to merge her background in computational chemistry with her interests in descriptive and molecular epidemiology, with a focus on breast cancer prevention, racial and geographic disparities, and risk prediction. In the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch, Dr. Davis Lynn works with Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., senior investigator, performing molecular epidemiologic studies of breast cancer.

Scientific Publications – Brittny Davis Lynn

Sally Lilian Yepes Torres, Ph.D., M.Sc. – Postdoctoral Fellow

Sally Yepes, M.Sc., Ph.D., joined the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) and the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) as a postdoctoral fellow in May 2018. Dr. Yepes has a B.S. in biology, an M.Sc. in human genetics; she received her Ph.D. in biology in 2016 from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her research interests focus on cancer genomics, in particular on the generation of knowledge from a data-driven perspective, and application of methodological frameworks from the statistical genomics, bioinformatics and elements of systems biology. In DCEG, she is working under the mentorship of  Xiaohong Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, ITEB, and Alisa Goldstein, Ph.D., senior investigator, CGB, to identify and further investigate cancer susceptibility genes in familial melanoma and chordoma using integrative analyses of next-generation sequencing and other ‘omics data.

Haoyu Zhang, B.S. – Predoctoral Fellow

Haoyu Zhang, B.S., joined the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) as a predoctoral fellow in July 2017. Mr. Zhang earned his B.S. in mathematics from Zhejiang University, China, in 2014 and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is doing his doctoral dissertation research jointly with Montserrat García-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., Deputy Director, DCEG, and Acting Chief, ITEB, and Nilanjan Chatterjee, Ph.D., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Bloomberg School. Mr. Zhang’s research is focused on methods for genetic association testing and polygenetic models utilizing multivariate tumor characteristics for breast cancer. His ultimate goals are to improve breast cancer risk assessment, improve decision making for targeted screening, and develop strategies for personalized breast cancer prevention.

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Learn about research training opportunities in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch.