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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Current Fellows in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch

Joshua Daniel Arias, M.S. – Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Portrait of Josh Arias

Joshua Daniel Arias, M.S., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a postbaccalaureate fellow in June 2019. Mr. Arias earned his M.S. in biological sciences from California State University, Long Beach. Working with Dr. Amanda E. Fisher, his master’s thesis research focused on elucidating the phylogeny of Acanthaceae, a tropical plant family, using bioinformatic assays that combined RNA- and DNA-seq data. Mr. Arias is working with Sonja Berndt, Pharm.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, OEEB, to perform Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) to further explore the genetic architecture and underpinnings of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Bryan Bassig, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Research Fellow

Bryan Bassig, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a predoctoral fellow in August 2012 as part of the Yale/NCI Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology. He became a postdoctoral fellow in June 2015 and was promoted to research fellow in June 2016. Dr. Bassig received his M.P.H. degree in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in 2010, and his Ph.D. in environmental epidemiology from Yale University in 2015. Working with Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., both senior investigators, OEEB, Dr. Bassig’s research primarily focuses on the environmental, occupational, and molecular epidemiology of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloid leukemia. In addition, his research utilizes cutting-edge molecular epidemiologic methods to investigate the biologic effects associated with a wide range of environmental and occupational exposures, including benzene, chlorinated solvents, diesel engine exhaust, and other air particulates.

Scientific Publications - Bryan Bassig

Jared Fisher, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Research Fellow

Jared Fisher, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2017. Dr. Fisher received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Maryland in 2017. His dissertation research focused on the relationship between short-term ambient particulate matter exposures and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular endpoints. Dr. Fisher has an M.P.H. from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as prior work experience as a health analyst at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. In OEEB, Dr. Fisher works with Rena Jones, Ph.D., investigator, OEEB, to investigate potential carcinogens in the general environment—especially ambient air pollutants—and to explore novel environmental exposure estimation and validation approaches for studies of cancer etiology.

Scientific Publications - Jared Fisher

Catherine Lerro, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Research Fellow

Catherine Lerro, Ph.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) in August, 2013 as a predoctoral fellow within the Yale-NCI Cooperative Graduate Training Program in cancer epidemiology. She became a postdoctoral fellow in December 2015, after successfully defending her dissertation, and was promoted to research fellow in December 2018. Dr. Lerro received her B.A. in public health studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, her M.P.H. in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and her Ph.D. in environmental epidemiology from Yale. She was previously a summer fellow at NCI and wrote her master’s thesis under the mentorship of Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., and Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., M.P.H. Dr. Lerro also spent two years working as an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently working with Laura Beane Freeman, Ph.D., senior investigator, OEEB, examining agricultural exposures and cancer risk in men and women.

Scientific Publications - Catherine Lerro

Joe Shearer, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Joe Shearer, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow in August 2017. Dr. Shearer earned his B.A. in chemistry from Macalester College in 2011, his M.P.H. from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston in 2016, and a Ph.D. in basic medical sciences from Purdue University in 2017. His dissertation focused on the molecular mechanisms of arsenic exposure and the prostate tumor microenvironment. Dr. Shearer’s research interests include understanding how occupational and environmental exposures contribute to immune dysregulation and signaling. In OEEB, Dr. Shearer is working with Jonathan Hofmann Ph.D., M.P.H., investigator, on studies characterizing the molecular mechanisms through which pesticides and other agricultural exposures may influence cancer risk in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture (BEEA) study. BEEA is a molecular epidemiologic effort within the Agricultural Health Study.

Scientific Publications - Joe Shearer

Jason Wong, Sc.D. - Research Fellow

Jason Wong, Fellow in OEEB

Jason Wong, Sc.D., S.M., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) in October 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow and is currently a research fellow. Dr. Wong obtained his bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from Simon Fraser University and his dual-doctorate in epidemiology and environmental health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For his doctoral dissertation research, he examined the detrimental effects of fine particulate matter on telomere length, DNA methylation, and inflammation. Prior to joining OEEB, Dr. Wong completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine where he examined the chronic health effects of secondhand smoke. Dr. Wong also has extensive experience in molecular biology honed from nearly a decade as a laboratory manager at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wong previously characterized genetic variants related to risk of endometrial cancer in the Nurses’ Health Study, and he is best known for developing a high-throughput assay to measure telomere length. In DCEG, Dr. Wong is investigating environmental, occupational, and molecular factors related to risk of cancers in various Asian and Western cohorts. He is working under the mentorship of Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., senior investigators in OEEB, to uncover the etiologic underpinnings of lung cancer.

Scientific Publications - Jason Wong

Learn about research training opportunities in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch.