Cook Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH
, by DCEG Staff
In October 2019, Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH and promoted to senior investigator in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch. Dr. Cook’s research program is focused on the epidemiology of esophageal adenocarcinoma and prostate cancer, with the overarching goals to elucidate etiology and discover diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
Dr. Cook uses both classical and molecular epidemiologic approaches to describe pathogenesis and identify biomarkers for esophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor, Barrett’s esophagus. His work demonstrated the effects of cigarette smoking and obesity on risk and developed paradigms to explain the gender differences in incidence, including the first studies of how circulating sex steroid hormones alter risk. Furthermore, he published a series of studies examining inflammatory markers and risk of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Dr. Cook is currently investigating newer, less invasive (non-endoscopic) screening methods that incorporate microRNAs, an important step in developing a cost-effective esophageal cancer early detection program. He has been a member of the international Barrett’s and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON) for more than 10 years and plays a key leadership role on the BEACON Steering Committee.
Dr. Cook is also a leading expert in the etiology of prostate cancer, with a focus on racial differences; the role of sex hormones and reproductive factors on risk; and examining prostate tissues with a focus on clinically-relevant disease—aggressive, progressive, and fatal subtypes. His work on patterns of incidence and mortality has provided critical insights into understanding the complex etiology of this disease across racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. and U.K. His studies of endogenous and exogenous sex steroid hormones have helped characterize the role of estrogen-androgen balance in the initiation of prostate cancer. More recently, he has launched studies to advance the discovery and validation of prostate cancer biomarkers.